SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Gun sales in California rose despite the state’s tough firearms laws, according to a newspaper review of state Department of Justice records.
Handgun sales in the San Joaquin Valley saw a particularly dramatic increase between 2010 and 2014, with purchases increasing between 163 and 224 percent in Kings, Tulare, Merced, Fresno and San Joaquin counties.
he number of handguns sold in California more than doubled between 2010 and 2014, when the state recorded nearly 500,000 gun transactions, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Saturday .
The sales rose even with the state’s gun restrictions. California bars assault weapons, blocks the sale of large-capacity magazines and requires universal background checks for all gun purchases.
“It shows that smart, strong gun safety laws can co-exist with a robust marketplace for firearms,” said Ari Freilich, a staff attorney at the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which pushes for comprehensive gun control measures.
Experts say incidents such as the mass shooting in San Bernardino may be fueling the uptick in sales. They say fear of further gun restrictions may also be responsible.
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom has proposed a ballot initiative that would require on-the-spot background checks when buying ammunition, ban the possession, not just the sale, of large-capacity magazines with 10 rounds or more and require police reports when guns are lost or stolen.
Legislation signed last year by Gov. Jerry Brown allows family members to ask a judge to remove firearms from a relative who appears to pose a threat.
“In gun policy, California is a model citizen, but things aren’t perfect,” John Donohue, a Stanford University law professor, told the Chronicle. “The state is grappling with the difficulty of navigating constitutional rights and the need for safety.”
Handgun sales in the San Joaquin Valley saw a particularly dramatic increase between 2010 and 2014, with purchases increasing between 163 and 224 percent in Kings, Tulare, Merced, Fresno and San Joaquin counties, the Chronicle reported.
By population, Mariposa County recorded about 4,250 gun transactions per 100,000 residents. San Francisco had the lowest rate at about 540 sales per 100,000 residents