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Gun sales have surged in California. Here's why people say they are buying more guns

Sales estimate data from the journalism nonprofit The Trace shows 1.26 million guns were purchased in California in 2020, a 56% increase from the previous year.

CALIFORNIA, USA — Gun sales have surged in California and across the United States since March 2020 when the pandemic surged and amid national unrest after the murder of George Floyd, according to findings collected by journalism nonprofit The Trace based on FBI data.

"The gun business, especially these days, is kind of driven somewhat by fear," said Sacramento Gun Show producer Guy Meyers on Sunday, as a steady stream of customers arrived at the Capitol Sports Center in McClellan Park.

"A lot of people that in the past would not have bought a firearm are out there buying firearms today to protect their family and their homes," Meyers said. 

State worker Suzanne Ansell said she was planning at some point to buy a gun to protect her home and family, alarmed at calls around the country to defund the police.

"You're seeing that the police are not necessarily responsive to protecting the rights of all citizens," Ansell said. 

Another customer, Don Rhoads, said calls to defund the police were "the stupidest idea" he'd ever heard. 

"If somebody comes to my house, that's it. Lights out," Rhoads said, adding that he planned to buy a Glock pistol. "I've got a family to protect, I've got a 17-year-old daughter that I want to see go through college."

Meanwhile, Nemon Hayes said he hoped to sell his old rifle while demand is high.

"I just want to sell my gun while I still can for a high price," Hayes said. 


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