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Following the Thousand Oaks Borderline Bar shooting last week, the truth about California gun owners is coming out. USA Today interviewed John Von Colln, the owner of the only gun store in Thousand Oaks. He describes a wholly unsurprising trend: Californians are arming themselves.

Von Colln’s gun store, VC Defense, has been flooded with visitors ever since the shooting and these California customers don’t even come close to qualifying for the well-worn “gun nut” trope.

Several are small business owners who want to protect their shops. One, Brandon Simone, is a 35-year-old single dad who once swore he’d never keep a gun in his home. Now, with his teenage son skateboarding right outside the store, dad’s filling out the paperwork to get a 9mm pistol.

“No matter how hard they make it to get a gun, they’re going to get one,” Simone’s son, Ethan, chimes in. “I’m a kid and I don’t know anything, but I know that.”

Another customer, a banker wearing designer glasses and a gold Rolex, is doubling down on his previous decision to own a gun. His own son, he says, was outside the bar during the shooting, and two of his son’s friends were killed.

“I need more holsters,” says the banker, “because I am not going anywhere without my piece now.”

Mike Rowan, a self-defense instructor at the nearby Trigger Burst Training Center, has likewise seen a heavy influx of customers in the last few days.

“I get a lot of closet liberals,” Rowan says, “people who normally would never want anything to do with a firearm, and I train them and they secretly own firearms.”

“They’re just frightened,” adds the former corrections officer. “Unfortunately, these mass shootings are good for business, and I say that very solemnly.”

For many California gun owners, all this has to happen under the radar. It’s understandable that people don’t want to take the heat for breaking the gun taboo there. But anti-gun Californians would do well to realize the closeted gun owner next door (California has at least 8 million gun owners) really isn’t that different from everyone else on the block.

As USA Today’s Gus Garcia Roberts memorably put it, Californian gun owners “pull up to [the] range in Priuses and Teslas and never tell their friends they own a gun.”

If you’re an un-closeted gun owner, you may want to follow VC Defense on Facebook in support of that solitary gun store in Thousand Oaks.

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    • This is why I don’t believe the claims only 30 percent of the public own guns. The Leftists don’t dare admit it to their Leftist ‘buddies’ that they have a gun.

      They will be a pariah…

      • California Libs are image driven. They don’t want to be publicly seen as a “gun owner”. However, owning a gun isn’t a big deal just as long as you: (1) acknowledge that Republicans and the NRA are evil, (2) publically state that your gun and penis are disgusting and used to oppress womxyn, (3) say you keep it unloaded and only use it to scare away intruders, and (4) always tell you friends, “I don’t even know why I have it…. I’m thinking about getting rid of it,” even though you know damn well you were thinking about buying a second gun. These people have theirs and they could care less about you and your needs and freedoms.

    • Gay gun owners often report that they were much more comfortable coming out as gay to the gun owners than to let gays know they own guns.

  1. I hope the gun store owner informed the closeted liberals that they will have to become legal experts now just to not run afoul of the gun control laws that California’s governor signs on a daily basis.

    • Perhaps some of the new folks will realize gun legislation resembles something created by reading entrails rather than any sane process and question why.

      • I doubt it. The kid in the story described the vast majority of Californians, no matter how unconstitutional they make the process, they will do it. I’m in Illinois and we will be heading to the same laws in just a few months. I, however, already do not and will not comply.

      • I have a few liberal relatives from California. Here is what I learned from them. The laws in California are many and quite intrusive. Their attitude is that you cannot go through daily life there without breaking a few laws. They think that the feeble minded follow all the laws, that in order to get ahead, you must break a few laws. Real power, they think, is knowing what you can reasonably get away with. It’s crazy, but that seems to be the culture. So, I suspect many Californians will simply ignore the inconvenient parts of the law, either due to ignorance of the law or they think they can get away with it.

  2. What I want to know is why are there always people after these incidents who act like it’s the first time ever noticing it? Now this guy won’t go out unarmed. But the last dozen times didn’t move him? Just like the virtue signalers who stop doing business with gun related companies or make a big show out of turning in a shotgun to the PD. Why this time? Were you just too busy to virtue signal last time? There shouldn’t be anyone left who hasn’t jumped aboard either bandwagon.

    • People don’t care about strangers who reside in a far away place. They only care about people they know, people they live close to or people that remind them of someone they like. When they feel personally affected, they finally start to realize reality.

      A lot of people don’t actually care about some breast cancer walk until their mother, sister, or wife gets cancer. Then they start donating, attending events, etc. That’s how the average human works. They worry about their lives and the things surrounding it. When a white kid is murdered by a white person it’s time to ban all guns, when a black kid is murdered by a black person there isn’t the same reaction.

      Look how little people know or care about the U.S. tribes. They are the most ignored in the country because they are very different from white and black people, thus they have no value. Asians are in a similar situation; they are different and they make people realize things they don’t want to come to terms with.

      It’s primal/animal/tribal behavior.

    • I only carried occasionally, out at night by myself in an unfamiliar area, or at a high risk location for a shooting. When the San Bernardino shooting happened right in my own back yard at a building I serviced. I started to carry every day without fail. It’s just human nature. You distance yourself until something happens to close the distance.

  3. 9mm? In Commiefornia? May as well get a 45 if you can only hold 10 anyway. Capacity is like, the whole point of 9mm over larger calibers.

        • Sure they do! They just call them ‘9mms.’

          You see, the 9mmx19 is the equivalent of the 6.5mm Creedmoor, except for use in pistols; It’s able to do everything any other pistol cartridge can do, but do it better with less bullet weight, diameter, and muzzle energy, and bests larger, heavier, more powerful rounds because. . . somethingsomething9mm!


        • They do, but they’re not CA legal if it’s semiauto. I guess someone could rebarrel a .308 Remington 700CP or XP-100 or Thompson Center. With 6.5 CM, you only need one round, but finding a holster may be difficult.

    • The 45 is a slow, heavy and unreliable expansion round that is harder to hit a target with and that is why. The 9mm is the best all around caliber for conceal carry. It just does everything better.

  4. Being a gun owner in CA is strange. I go to the local ranges and they are overflowing with folks. And I live in the bay area.

    But because of corruption the dems have a solid lock on the .gov here. I have the funny feeling that every voter in CA can vote gop and the dems will still win in a land slide.

      • CZ
        Definitely true in some places. I had a Saturday afternoon free last year in Sacramento. Went to one of the few local ranges. It was part of gun shop. Take a ticket and wait 3 hours to shoot. Didn’t bother.

        Five minutes to say hi and fill out paperwork at home.

    • One of the biggest GOP California turnouts in 20 years and Gavin Newsom (D)!beat John Cox (R) 62 to 38 or 59 to 41 depending who you believe. Dems are almost 50% of CA registered voters and Republicans are 25%. The jungle primary which puts the top 2 (Dems) on the ballot really killed Republican Registration in California because they are often shut out.

  5. What good is having a gun if you cannot carry it? Those folks running out to buy guns should try voting for the “other guys”.

  6. A good amount of Asian people in California own guns. They drive around in Teslas, BMWs, Mercedes and Porsches. They know to protect their life, liberty and property they need guns. While the person who drives a Prius usually wants to ban all guns from those that don’t work for the government.

    I wonder if that is because the expensive car driver has more to lose than the Prius driver or maybe it’s more common that a Prius owner is self righteous.

    It’s always a good idea to not tell people you own guns and what guns you have. You don’t go around telling people how rich you are and how much money you keep at home.

    • Just because I own a Prius (and I actually do) doesn’t mean anything toward my beliefs on gun ownership. Don’t lump us Prius owners with gun banners. Honestly I’d rather see everyone (felons included) legally allowed to own guns before no one simply because I know for fact that a felon who wants one is most likely going to have one no matter the law.

      My pistol practically LIVES in my Prius and they get along just fine thank you.

  7. ‘secretly’ buying a gun for self defense just shows them for the hypocrites they are.

    If a latest tradgedy has caused you to reconsider your stance on guns and the importance of self defense then stand proudly on your convictions and educate those around you. If your shunned or ostrisized because of it than to hell with what your so-called friends or neighbors think.

    • I think California has gun confiscation laws [red flag] that people have to worry about. White Californians love calling the cops for anything. Last thing you want is to be constantly reported because you are different and own guns. Californian cops do not support the constitution and will follow orders.

      • You nailed it. In the “People’s Republic of Kalifornia” you’re one phonecall away from a state confiscation team visit.

      • Very true I guess.
        The things I take for granted living in a (very) free state…

        Why anyone would choose to live in such an oppressive commie state is beyond me.
        I’ve been out to Cali many times for work and I feel like a criminal every time because I just KNOW I’m breaking some kind of idiot law. Honestly, I get out of there as fast as I can and make a dedicated effort to not stop for ANYTHING and spend NOTHING, not on gas, food, nothing…
        I sigh the sigh of relief when I finally see ‘Welcome to Arizona’.

      • Cops in general do not follow the constitution and they only obey orders. How many countless instances of asset forfeiture, false arrest, raiding the wrong house, and false confessions exist again? Too many to list.

        Then there are cases like this

        What makes you think these are the only ones? or that more things like this wont happen with very strict gun laws? They have already proven themselves untrustworthy around drugs.

        The ones that do follow the constitution are exceptions to the rule

        • Wow, hate the police much? You DO know that police are just as human as the next person, right and that most of them are basically decent people doing a very hard job? Or have you been watching too much television and believe the fiction cops are the real ones? Yes, there are bad cops out there just like there are bad store managers, bad restaurant owners, and bad company executives, but most police officers are just as decent as you and your neighbors. If you really think all police are as bad as you say, that speaks more toward yourself than them as people tend to believe others act and think like they do.

        • “You DO know that police are just as human as the next person”

          Sam, that’s exactly what should scare the living sh!t out of you.

          Cops are just as human as everyone else, but are gifted with inhuman powers by the state they serve. And they will kill you just for looking “funny.”

        • Ralph –
          that is the same argument the left uses against gun owners. “Concealed carry is bad because the streets will run with blood because people will shoot you for looking at them funny.” But it doesn’t happen. Police don’t just go shooting people, either. 12 million police-civilian interactions per year (arrests, not counting the untold number of non-official interaction like buying lunch or coffee on duty, saying hello to passers-by, etc) and only 1500 or so police shootings (fatal and non-fatal) per year. A rate of 0.0125% of official police interactions end in a shooting. Meanwhile, half of the ghetto and half of all liberals and half of all wacky ‘sovereign citizens’ probably look at a police officer ‘funny’ on a daily basis. You’d think the percentages would be higher…

          In my opinion, the central problem is two-fold. One, we have an amazingly high number of gangs in this country. Way more than any other 1st world nation. This probably stems partly from the drug war and partly from ‘diversity’ and partly from misguided federal social policies. Two, police training. Guns come out far too often: police seem to be trained to use them as a show of force instead of as a response to force.

          The debate should be around reducing gangsterism and police training. Not hyperbolic statements about whose basis seems to be rooted in movies and not real life.

        • No Ralph, it doesn’t scare me and it shouldn’t. Why doesn’t it scare me? Probably because I’m a law abiding person. Maybe because I’m also a government employee, maybe because I know so many police officers well, maybe because I’m a member of the law enforcement community (not as a police officer), or maybe it’s because I know that most of what the media portrays about police is either blown out of proportion or outright lies. Not every time, just most of it. As I said, most police officers are good people doing a difficult job. Why should I be afraid of that? Politicians now, THOSE are people to be afraid of.

        • bad store owners and bad restaurant managers generally don’t have the means to shoot you or your dog and get away with it by saying “reached for his waist / feared for my life”, plant evidence and arrest you, perjure themselves and get the benefit of belief by virtue of being a noble cop at your trial, kick in your door mistakenly and shoot you for defending yourself, confiscate your property because ‘might be drug money’ , make up laws on the street to harass, ‘move along’ violate your rights, beat you up for ‘resisting arrest’ while handcuffed, scream conflicting Simon says orders at you then shoot you for failing to obey all of them.. should I go on?

          I don’t hate cops. I think of cops the same way I think about unstable attack dogs. they’re just as likely to turn and bite you as the person you are releasing them at. I don’t call the cops. I don’t invite the man into my life.

          and stop with the “you don’t know how tough it is out there” crap, because if you can’t handle the job, fucking quit. you signed up for it. do it, suck it up or gtfo. you don’t get to use it as an excuse for shitty behavior. and every single thing I’ve listed above has been done, over and over and over again. on camera. on body cams, so don’t piss about with ‘you don’t know the whole story’ and YES I get it, it’s shitty out there, but again, suck it up or quit. bad Cops made it this way, getting away with shit for years and years.. now ‘good cops’ are having to deal with it and it sucks. maybe if you held your own to the same intolerant standards you hold the average citizen to, there’d be no bad cops.. but you just look the other way, go along to get along, make excuses like.. ‘you don’t know how tough it is out there’

        • Sam… cops seek out power and are usually bullies. They are far worse than your average neighbor. People aren’t perfect, so maybe we shouldn’t give them God like power over other people.

        • Arc, then you know some bad people who happen to be cops. I’ve known many police officers, and most of them are or were good people. They aren’t on some power trip or looking for God-like power over others. They’re looking to help others and protect people from the tyranny of evil men. As for the “God-like power” cops have, while that may have been so 40 years ago, it’s not so today. Police have far less power than you think. And yes, there are bullies who enter this job, and some of them stay in it. Sadly, that is going to happen like it will in any job. The good news is that most bullies don’t last. The bad news is that those that do are often the only ones the public will ever remember and they are almost always the ones the public points to when they say all cops are bad.

          As for being worse than my average neighbor, I can’t say that. My average neighbors have been thieves, drug dealers, wife beaters, and child molesters. I don’t live in some run down part of town either. I live in the country, away from other people. I’d MUCH rather have a cop living next to me than the idiot that’s there now.

  8. I volunteer as an instructor for a well known LGBT gun group.

    I also live in a very very liberal area.

    EVERY time we get together, at least one person jokes that its harder to be “out” as a gun owner than it is to be out as LGBT.

    • As a black gun owner I have observed white homosexuals have never supported gun civil rights as a group. You can find individual gays, Tammy Bruce for example, who support gun rights.

      But I at least 95% of white gays are anti civil rights. Black gay people on the other hand are more likely to have a gun. My percentage numbers are just a guess. But they are based on newspaper articles that I’ve been reading for the past several years. Some of those articles have been on TTAG.

  9. It’s a double whammy in Thousand Oaks. Get shot in a bar or die in an apocalyptic fire. I don’t feel the need to criticize these folks…

  10. ““I need more holsters,” says the banker, “because I am not going anywhere without my piece now.””

    Unless he already bribed his way into a CCW, he’s in for an unhappy surprise when he remembers that his voting behavior destroyed the right to keep and bear arms outside the home in California.

      • Then they better read article IV and VI of the constitution and realize that no one has priority on the list in this country.

        • That’s cute.

          Californians consider the US Constitution a piece of paper that they don’t need to bother with.

          You may note that California is one of the very, very few states that DOESN’T have a “right to keep and bear arms” amendment as part of its constitution.

    • I love hearing people who aren’t from California talk about California gun laws. Unless you are in the Bay Area or la county you will most likely get a carry permit if you are willing to pay the hundreds of dollars.

  11. LOL. Last time I take libtards to a range. I bring them over and yes the stories of interest in guns setting in hard and fast does happen, until you tell them the process of getting one here in the socialist republic of L.A./S.F. (those flyover counties don’t matter after all). All motivation to get the gun safety cert just to get a gun goes straight to the shitter once they learn that it requires a test thats easier to pass than to wait the 10 day period.
    New gun owners or people interested in guns are ignorant and need to be taught whats what by someone who is patient and isn’t an asshole. But when they whine about it being hard to get a gun I tell them that yes it’s stupid but stupid people keep voting in stupid people to make more crap laws and regs, only to get “well we gotta keep guns away from stupid people and it’s just too easy to get guns” as a response.
    You can lead a horse to clean fresh water but it probably like the taste of diluted shit from it’s old trough too much to change.

  12. California gun control is mostly about making sure the poor cannot own guns, while the rich can. CA has the biggest inequality in the country. That is how socialism works.

  13. Do you need personal references to get a pistol license in CA?

    In NY, you need notarized affidavits from at least four (4) people you have known for at least one year, attesting to your “good moral character”. No relatives by blood or marriage, no LEOs, and they must be residents of the same county. (in NY, state pistol licenses are issued by your county of residence, at their discretion (i.e., “may issue”).

    So, so much for keeping it a secret. In addition to the government, you need to get permission from four other citizens to exercise the right.

    And NYC? Fuhgetaboutit.

    • The only “license” you need to buy a gun and take it home is a Firearms Safety Certificate, $25 and a multiple choice test on basic safety and transfer law.

      To CARRY a gun in any urban area requires a CCW. Open carry is illegal in urban areas. The basic fee is approximately $150, plus the cost of the mandatory training , usually around $160 for first time applicants, $50 or so for the biannual renewal. A CCW requires a background check with Life Scan, an interview with a sheriff’s deputy, and at least 8 hours and up to 16 hours of training. Most of the training is on the law of self defense, with the rest a shooting component. The licenses are, by state law, “may issue.” The gun you wish to carry must be listed on the ccw after it is inspected by the issuing agency. The front of the license has room for three guns, and some agencies will only allow up to three to be carried, although there is no state law limit. Unless it is listed on the license, it cannot be carried concealed. After that, the requirements vary by county. Some issuing agencies restrict the guns that can be carried by caliber, with a minimum of .380 and a max of .45. Some counties–a majority in fact–are “shall issue” in practice. Others are “no issue” in practice. Some require at least four references (and the references can expect being contacted by an officer) despite the fact that there is no such requirement in state law. Some require the applicant to have a mental exam by a psychologist certified to examine officer candidates (it is discretionary elsewhere, and the fee is an additional $125). Some require a minimum qualifying score on a shooting test (the same as administered to police officers), others only require a demonstration that you can safely shoot your firearm at a target at 5-10 yards. Some agencies have backlogs running into months, others have no backlog at all.

      • Sounds even more complicated than NY but not nearly as oppressive. When I say “may issue” in NY I mean just a license to own or possess a pistol. In NY, you may not touch or handle a pistol without a pistol license. I think there are only a few counties that issue unrestricted CCW licenses without “proper cause”.

        • It’s the same in Massachusetts. No one can touch handle or purchase a firearm of any kind without an F ID card or LTC. Which requires mandatory safety courses, filling out an application at your friendly or not so friendly local police department, appointments at your local police department for an interview with a local licensing officer without an attorney present (constitutional waivers–even a suspected criminal has the right to an attorney when dealing with Police under “The Miranda warning.”), Mulitple local/state police permissions, PD and state approval required, restrictions, prohibitions, BANs, Constitutional Waivers, etc…If you are approved, after a very long wait, and depending on your jurisdiction…Your permit and state approved pin no.# information will be sent by USPS…Good Luck…Denials sent by a letter via USPS….This is why 2nd Amendment issues should be immediately removed from the law enforcement community. While THEY and the states “ration” out constitutional RIGHTS!

        • So, how do stupid laws like that affect your crime rate? My suspicion would be “not at all”, in which case why is that not pointed out to EVERYBODY?? Constantly??

      • Wow !!!! Why does anyone want to live in such freedom restricting places?
        I moved to South Carolina, where you can buy any kind of gun/ammo within 20/30 seconds (for the Federal check). I bought 3 with one federal check.

        You can keep loaded guns in your glove box, even at work without a CCW. No restrictions on calibers, magazines, type and amount of ammo. The knife laws are non-existent. Switchblades any size, sword canes, large bowie knives, etc. can be carried.

        We have one day a year , a gun holiday, where you can buy a gun and pay no sales taxes. I think that’s pretty amazing. Additionally, we have excellent Castle Doctrine laws, where your home, car and business is equally treated by the law.

        I have talked to many DIE-HARD Libs here, and pretty much all of them in rural SC have guns….. (Yes, we do have have die-hard libs here)

    • Even all of thar varies by county to the point where its almost like having several different states in terms of process. With that said it sounds like you may be from my county or one that has similar rules

  14. The Left likes to use percentage because that makes it seem like gun ownership is going down.
    The raw numbers say otherwise.
    In 1970 there were about 64.4 Million households and 50% said they had guns. 32 Million or so.
    In 2018 there are estimated 121.3 Million households and 43% with guns (Gallup). 52 Million or so.
    So households went up 100% and gun ownership up by 60%.
    Hardly a decrease.

  15. Welcome to the self oppression led by the dear leaders of the only party ruling California. The communist, of course. Whatever the name they are using now. Same people, same drive for power.

  16. Business will be brisk for reasons other than a mass shooting. As of January 1, you will have to be 21 to buy any firearm. And incoming governor Gavin Newsom has pledged to make our already strict gun laws even stricter.

  17. I’ve heard people say CA has the worst gun laws in the nation, but BLAMMO shows that it just ain’t so. Bad yes, worst no. In CA, you have to pass a written test that’s easy to pass. The gun seller has to verify that you understand the basic operation of the gun. You gotta pay for all those paperwork checks. Until recently, you could buy ammo at Walmart or on the web without hinderances, unless you lived in gangland LA.

    Man, 4 notarized affidavits! And it isn’t even NYC? Wow.
    The gun seller of the story mentioned closeted liberals. It isn’t the liberalism that’s closeted, it’s the gun interest that’s closeted.

    Our range is packed on Sat. and Sun., but a little over half full on Mon. and Fri. I met my lefty neighbor there once, giving his 12 gage a spin. He said he grew up an Army brat with guns in the house; I’m guessing his wife cured him of most of his bad habits. I pulled one of this targets out of the trash after he left. He alternated #6 or #7 bird shot, and slugs. I guess his compassion for intruders only lasts seconds.

  18. California gun owners keep it very hush to avoid harassment. School kids and parents are told by school officials to ask if other people have guns before visiting a home.
    There is the paranoia from other parents and do-gooders who know GVRO / ERPO harassments are a phone call away.

    • Ain’t that the truth. I am surrounded by liberal minded friends, but for some of them, when the conversation turns to guns, I find out they own a few, usually a glock and a 22LR rifle. So i ask how them, how often do you go shooting and why. I usually hear once a year because they are busy living the CA lifestyle: surf, snowboarding, wakeboarding, mountain biking, hiking, scuba, fishing, sea kayaking, etc.

      • Your friends must be in OC or SD.

        I am often surprised at who I see at the range that spouted the politically / socially correct answers in other locations…
        and I live in a burgundy area (purple leaning red)

  19. For Prospective California Resident Gun Buyers: The rest of you can ignore this comment.
    What probably MOST of you California Closet Gun Buyers do not know is that the State of California keeps a State record of every handgun and long gun purchase made nowadays. When you buy you register the firearm to your possession with the State of California. So, they may be in the closet to their friends and acquaintances, but not to the State.

    Further, you are terribly ill-advised to carry a firearm on your person or in your car without a CCW or without it being properly secured in a locked container (for all handguns and semi-automatic long guns). State Laws can prosecute you for a Felony should you get caught violating these laws in California.

    California Rifle and Pistol Association sells a very thorough book, updated yearly, that explains California Gun Laws for the current year, and I think any one can buy it. You would want to buy the 6th edition right now. It is on presale here:
    it will cover new Ammunition Sales Laws taking effect January 1, 2019 that will affect every resident of California.

    You can obtain a lot of information from the California Department of Justice website about Firearms Laws for free, as well. It does take a bit more time and effort than buying the CRPA book, though.

  20. Most of the politicians are getting kickbacks from the Crooks with huge donations too political funds, for stopping little people from defending their rights, while the rich do what they want. Demon crats suck that up, like a bowling ball through a fire hose

  21. Why would this surprise anyone? I have lib friends who won’t live in my city because the property taxes are too high. They have “All Are Welcome Here” signs in their yards but they won’t go to our local Walmart because of all the foreigners.

  22. So as the noose tightens around their necks, they run out to get a gun, and wait at least 10 days, to get it. Amazing how you can walk around with a strap on dildo. Well fitted for public attire, in a gay pride parade or at a college protest. But you can’t walk around with a gun in California. The rats are scrambling for a safe place to hide in California. Good luck with that.
    I know the real people of the gun have had firearms for quite some time now. But these Liberals are just too late.

    They have flooded the state with gun hating illegal aliens.


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