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Record California gun sales in December 2015!

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With renewed discussion about gun control after the San Bernardino mass shooting, California gun dealers sold about 134,000 guns last month as reflected by the number of background checks performed by the FBI, federal data show. California has long required background checks for all firearm sales, including with private sellers. California has some of the toughest laws in the nation, none of which prevented the San Bernardino shootings. The Columbine, Aurora and Newtown mass shootings heralded record-breaking numbers of gun purchase applications in California. SacBee.com says:

The San Bernardino shooting, along with an uptick in Christmas gun purchases, led to more gun sales in California than seen after either Columbine or Aurora, FBI data show. No other month saw more background checks in California since the FBI started performing them in the late 1990s.

California has seen between 800,000 and 960,000 gun sales during each of the prior four years, state and federal data show. By comparison, a decade ago, between 2002 and 2005, the state never saw more than 345,000 gun sales in a single year.

The FBI generally conducts background checks in two situations: Before a new gun purchase and before a new permit like a “concealed carry” license is issued to a gun owner. The state has seen a sharp increase in gun purchases and a sharp increase in “concealed carry” applications during the last four years.

Background checks give a solid estimate of the number of guns purchased and permits issued, but they are not a perfect measure. A relatively small number of background checks result in denials and some would-be buyers choose not to proceed with a purchase after a check. In addition, some buyers purchase more than one gun following a single background check.

A graph of California firearm background checks by month, along with time frames for mass shootings, is presented in the article.

-Bill at

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