Gun Sales, Background Checks Peaking In California

.45 Caliber Handgun
Photo credit Jonathan Novack/Getty Images
By KCBS All News 106.9FM and 740AM

Guns and ammunition are flying off the shelves all over California.

Background checks are up, too.

Many believe it’s a double-barreled threat or perceived threat - the coronavirus pandemic and unrest on America’s streets. Gun stores are so busy selling weapons they’re telling customers that repairs and other requests aren’t happening right now.

"First-time buyers that are coming back into the stores to buy another gun," Gun Owners of California Executive Director Sam Paredes told KCBS Radio. "Because they only could buy one gun every 30 days, so they bought a handgun and somebody said 'Hey you really need a shotgun too.’"

There is a 10-day waiting period for a gun purchases in California.

However, the Department of Justice is so busy, the background checks are not happening in that 10-day stretch. Requests for background checks are also soaring nationwide.

FBI numbers released last week show that 3.9 million background checks were conducted last month, the most since the system was created in November 1998 to ensure felons and other prohibited people could not buy or possess a firearm. The previous monthly record came in March, when 3.7 million checks were done. Each week in June is now in the top 10 weeks for background checks.

"The manufacturers are operating at full-tilt boogie," Paredes said. "They are making the guns as fast as they can."

Along with the demand for weapons is a demand for ammo.

That’s in short supply too.