The two most common reasons for recent firearm acquisition, according to the report, was “lawlessness” and the early releases of people from California prisons.
The survey found that the fear of being attacked in one’s neighborhood was a prime driver of gun ownership among those who got a gun due to the pandemic and its fallout. Nearly 70% of respondents said they were most concerned about robbery, and 50% said their fears stemmed from police violence. Social upheaval and large-scale protests over police killings and racial violence have also fueled some of the fears survey-takers described.
The report also highlights changes in the ways people store their firearms and ammunition. Of the 110,000 Californians the survey focuses on, half have adopted “unsecure storage practice in response to the pandemic” such as keeping guns loaded and not locked in a safe.
“I’m concerned like I’ve never been before,” said Dr Rochelle Dicker, a UCLA trauma surgeon in response to the report. “Americans have a culture of turning to firearms for protection, and now like never before, people are fearing for their own safety and financial security. We’re seeing that manifested in California.”