New data released this week by the California Department of Justice indicate firearms sales and ownership has increased substantially in recent years, despite the state’s track record of restrictive gun laws and anti-gun policies.
In the fifteen-year period ending in 2015, Sacramento County led the state in firearm sales growth, posting an increase of 406 percent, which translates to about one gun sold for every two county residents.
Other counties posting significant increases in gun sales between 2001 and 2015 (in descending order) include San Bernardino with 385%, Riverside with 220%, Orange with 203% Los Angeles with 190%, San Diego with 174% and Santa Clara with 156%.
Other key findings in the California report include:
Gun purchases have been increasing in every county, with a few counties contributing a disproportionate amount of growth
Gun transactions have been growing in recent years, increasing 2.5 times between 2007 and 2013.
New guns have steadily become a larger percentage of transactions (~75%) compared to used guns.
Most guns are sold by dealers (65% of handguns, 83% of long guns), followed by private parties (17% of handguns, 9% of long guns).
A total of 700,000 individual guns were sold in Sacramento County between 2001 and 2015, more than in any other county besides Los Angeles, which has seven times the population.
In addition, Sacramento County has seen a dramatic rise in the number of concealed weapons permits issued since 2010, when Scott Jones was elected sheriff, the Sacramento Bee newspaper reported this week. Jones, a Republican congressional candidate, reversed a standing Sheriff’s Department policy of restricting the issuance of concealed carry permits. By the end of 2015, Sacramento County had the third-highest number of concealed carry permit holders in California, behind only Fresno and Orange counties.