Gun retailers report a run on firearms ahead of new California restrictions

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Trump’s victory might have slowed guns sales overall, but in California people are scrambling to get into gun stores before January first, here’s why…


Source: Los Angeles Times


Governor Jerry Brown’s approval of sweeping gun control legislation in July has triggered a run on firearms in California, with some stores reporting that sales have doubled since that law passed.

Under this new law signed by the governor, starting January 1, the general public in California can no longer buy a semi-automatic rifle equipped with a “bullet-button” that allows for the quick removal and replacement of ammunition magazines. [Senate Bill 880 and Assembly Bill 1135]

 

Guns purchased before January 1 can be kept as long as the owner registers the gun with the state as an assault weapon. As a result, sales have at least doubled at many California gun stores, store owners report.

“When Governor Brown signed that bill, the first 30 days in July were just insane,” said Joshua Deaser, owner of Just Guns in Sacramento. “It died down for a while but now we are back with everyone trying to get what they can before the end of the year.”

Terry McGuire, owner of the Get Loaded gun store in the city of Grand Terrace in San Bernardino County, said people are clamoring to buy semi-automatic rifles before midmonth, given that the state background check process takes about 10 days. McGuire: “We have people lined up out the door and around the block.”

State officials confirm there has been a surge in gun sales. The number of semi-automatic rifles registered this year with the state has more than doubled over last year, according to the California state Department of Justice. In the less than six months since the July 1 signing of the legislation, 257,895 semi-automatic rifles have been purchased, eclipsing the 153,931 rifle purchases reported to the state in all of 2015, the state agency said.

Purchases of all firearms, including handguns, have jumped 40-percent over last year, to nearly 1 million in 2016 year, according to the state agency.

“We expected this,” said Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California. “Any time the government comes up with a ban on guns, the public rushes to buy them to make sure they have at least one.”

 

Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), a coauthor of the bill, said military-style weapons “enable shooters to take the most lives in the least amount of time” and there is no place for them on California’s streets.

“All of us should be able to go to work and send our kids to school free from the fear of becoming a mass shooting victim,” Ting said. “The bullet-button loophole undermined California’s assault weapons ban and the shocking loss of life in San Bernardino last year revealed the subsequent threat to public safety.”

Assemblyman Marc Levine (D-San Rafael), another coauthor of the bill, said the new law is important. “We raise our children in communities, not war zones,” he said. Levine downplayed the increase in gun sales currently being experienced by California stores. “Gun sales have trended up for a while now,” he said. “Anxiety and strife are being sowed throughout American society. The Legislature acted to limit bloodshed in our communities.”

In addition to the rifle ban, gun owners are anxious about a law by Senate leader Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) that will require ammunition purchasers to undergo background checks in 2019, and the recently approved initiative by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom that included gun control measures such as a ban on possessing magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds.

“It’s like Gavin Newsom, Kevin de León, and Jerry Brown are the biggest marketing and sales guys for AR-15 and AK-47-style rifles in the state of California,” Gun Owners of California’s Paredes said. “Because of their actions, people are buying them any way they can.”

Brown, Newsom, and De León did not respond to requests for comment on the run on guns.

 

Customers who are buying the guns are as upset as store owners, according to Pete Brown, the retail sales manager at American Gun Works in Glendale, where he said sales are “way up.” “People are angry,” Brown said. “They are angry with the Legislature because [the law] doesn’t address crime. Nothing in the law addresses criminals. It’s another way of cutting back on what’s available to law-abiding citizens, and that’s why they are angry.”

Alex Lopez, the owner of Western Firearms in Bell, confirmed that gun buyers don’t like the direction the new laws are taking the state. “They can’t figure out how this is going to affect criminals from getting access to firearms,” Lopez said.

In addition to the rifle ban, gun owners are anxious about a law by Senate leader Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) that will require ammunition purchasers to undergo background checks in 2019, and the recently approved initiative by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom that included gun control measures such as a ban on possessing magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds.

Background: A “bullet-button” is a device used to remove a magazine in a semi-automatic rifle, replacing the standard magazine release with a block which forces the user to remove the magazine by using a tool to depress a small plunger, as opposed to his or her finger. This allows rifles to comply with California’s firearms law. The name came about due to a 1999 California State law which said that a “bullet or ammunition cartridge is considered a tool.” The bullet button was invented and named by Darin Prince of California in January 2007. The 2012 court case Haynie v Pleasanton validated that a bullet-button is legal and rifles that have one installed are not considered assault weapons.


Folks, don’t rest easy… There’s an old and true saying: All politics is local… Laws exist at all levels of government, not just the Federal, and these laws most decidedly can have at least the same impact, and more, on American citizens as anything done across-the-board nationally.


bullet-button
Background: A “bullet-button” is a device used to remove a magazine in a semi-automatic rifle, replacing the standard magazine release with a block which forces the user to remove the magazine by using a tool to depress a small plunger, as opposed to his or her finger. This allows rifles to comply with California’s firearms law. The name came about due to a 1999 California State law which said that a “bullet or ammunition cartridge is considered a tool.” The bullet button was invented and named by Darin Prince of California in January 2007. The 2012 court case Haynie v Pleasanton validated that a bullet-button is legal and rifles that have one installed are not considered assault weapons.
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4 thoughts on “Gun retailers report a run on firearms ahead of new California restrictions”

  1. California will do whatever it can to limit law-abiding citizens and nothing to deal with the criminals. Of course, with these new laws, they are going to have a lot more “criminals” now than they had before. There are already laws on the books to deal with criminals with guns, but they aren’t enforced because we have so many liberal, bleeding-heart judges, law-makers, governor, and citizens here, that the criminals get off with sentences that are too lenient. When are we going to get some leaders with common sense. Notice where all the blue was on the election maps. Along the coastal areas where all the coastal elites liberals live.

    1. d. mays

      Really? “Where is the NRA?”

      Hopefully all of the fed money gets cut off and then the People’s Republic of Kalifornia has to fend for itself.

      Maybe then the communists in charge of the PRK will see that importing every illegal alien within a 2,000 mile radius was a really bad idea

      Imagine when all of the illegals get everything cut off from the feds and the illegals realize they are going to starve and their little utopia that the commiecrats promised them is over because the PRK is broke

      I feel bad for the few freedom loving Americans stuck in that communist stronghold and I wish they “Producing” freedom lovers would pack up and move

      I have heard for many people just packing up and moving isn’t an option and some have packed up and moved to a semi free state.

      The writing has been on the wall for a long time and it will get bad, real bad and I would do anything for my family’s safety even if it meant selling everything my family owns, packing up and fleeing in the middle of the night like the Baltimore Colts

      I wish the freedom loving people of the PRK and all freedom lovers can do now is be prepared for anything

  2. I find it interesting that the straw-man argument of the san Bernadino shooting and the lack of the bullet buttons effectiveness was the “galvanizing event” that spurred the law to be written. For those that do not know, the rifles used in that whole tragedy never had the bullet button as they either removed it or never had one installed since the rifles were purchased out of state and illegally brought in gasp. Shows that criminals wanting to commit crimes break the law. I feel sorry for those in California that live under such draconian law makers when it comes to second amendment rights.

    Being a firearm owner, I and those that I know take firearm safety seriously and we follow all laws including paying NFA stamps as needed. Amazingly, I have yet to hear about a “machine gun” which is a true assault rifle being used in a crime and those that have NFA’s for suppressors and are the legal owners have not used them in crimes either. Unfortunately criminals don’t follow the rules and when caught are given a tap on the wrist.

    I have thought about working in California before, however with their high chances of legal issues, cost of living, and attitudes and legal stances on firearms without understanding them I chose to avoid the place even if there are a lot of professional positions available; it’s just not worth the headache.

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