California has some of the strictest gun laws on the books, but according to a new report, sales of firearms skyrocketed during the pandemic.
A report from the journalism nonprofit TheTrace.org found that sales of firearms in the Golden State have increased by sixty-six percent since March 2020 over the previous fourteen months.
Residents in California purchased approximately 920,000 handguns from March 2020, when the novel coronavirus pandemic was declared, to April 2021. Firearm sales had already been on the rise in California for years – despite the restrictions – but it was new gun control measures that had driven those previous increases. Before the pandemic, surges were driven largely by long guns, but Covid-19 helped drive the sales of handguns over the past year, The Sacramento Bee reported.
According to data from the nonprofit, eight of the twelve months with the most sales of handguns in California since 2000 occurred during the pandemic. An additional 365,000 handguns were sold during the pandemic compared to the prior fourteen months, while long gun sales only increased by 183,000 in the same period.