Californians are stocking up on guns before a new gun control law takes effect in 2017 (video below).
According to The Press Democrat, nearly one million firearms were purchased in California as of Dec. 9, a sharp increase from the approximately 700,000 guns sold in the state during all of 2015.
Semiautomatic rifle sales are up more than 100 percent. California Department of Justice statistics show that 364,643 semiautomatic rifles were sold by Dec. 9.
Throughout all of 2015, only 153,931 rifles were sold.
“Compared to a normal year, sales are up one thousand percent, it’s ridiculous,” said Petaluma firearms dealer Gabe Vaughn, according to The Press Democrat. “Pretty much the second we got them they were gone. A lot of them were pre-sold before they arrived to the store.”
The gun control measures scheduled to take effect in 2017 include background checks to purchase ammunition, a ban on high-capacity magazines, and the end of a loophole that make it easier for shooters to swap magazines according to The Mercury News.
“California is clearly leading the way on gun control measures,” said John Donohue III, a Stanford law professor and gun policy expert. “No one measure on its own can plug up all the holes, but if you start filling enough of them, it starts having an impact.”
The measures were approved by the Democrat-controlled state Legislature in response to the 2015 San Bernardino terrorist attack, in which Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik gunned down 14 people at Farook's workplace holiday party, according to the Los Angeles Times.
At the time of the bill's passage, Republicans accused Democrats of exploiting a tragedy to increase gun control in California.
“You want to blame something you can control, but you can’t control murder,” said Republican Assemblywoman Shannon Grove of Bakersfield. “You can’t control insanity.”