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Home / News / CA sees record gun sales in 2020, Attorney Gen. urges use of red flag laws

CA sees record gun sales in 2020, Attorney Gen. urges use of red flag laws

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There was a record increase in handgun sales in 2020, according to California data released by California Attorney General Rob Bonta. Following the data release, Bonta emphasized the importance of red flag laws in the states.

Attorney General Bonta and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence are calling on residents to use California’s red flag laws. The two red flag laws in California are Gun Violence Restraining Orders and Domestic Violence Restraining Orders.

“Gun violence is an epidemic in this country,” said Attorney General Bonta. “We are fortunate in California to have commonsense gun laws that help combat the epidemic and keep the public safe. With one of the lowest firearm mortality rates in the country, we’ve seen our laws work. However, some tools, like our red flag laws, aren’t being used enough.”

The red flag laws help local law enforcement prevent people who can potentially cause harm from purchasing guns. Family members, coworkers, school employees, and employers can petition the court for a Gun Violence Restraining Order for someone they believe should be prohibited from purchasing firearms. Individuals who are experiencing abuse by someone close to them can request a Domestic Violence Restraining Order.

The application for Gun Violence Restraining Orders and Domestic Violence Restraining Orders can be found here.

Domestic Violence victims in immediate danger should call 911. For additional information and assistance call:

  • The 24-hour National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233)
  • The Victims of Crime Resource Center: 1-800-VICTIMS (1-800-842-8467)

For additional information on resources available to survivors of sexual violence please visit: https://oag.ca.gov/sexual-violence

The gun sales report also revealed that the number of long guns sold in 2020 was the second-highest year to date, beat out only by 2016.

Handgun sales in California increased from 414,705 in 2019 to 686,435 in 2020. The sale of long guns increased from 329,311 in 2019 to 480,401 in 2020. The FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System processed 39.7 million background checks in 2020, this is compared to 28.4 million background checks in 2019. This doesn’t directly represent gun sales, but can be an indicator.

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