California Gov. Jerry Brown’s approval of sweeping gun control legislation in July has triggered a run on firearms in California, with some stores reporting sales have doubled since then, the Los Angeles Times reports. Starting Jan. 1, the general public in California can no longer buy a semiautomatic rifle equipped with bullet-buttons that allow for the quick removal and replacement of ammunition magazines, under a new law signed by the governor. Guns purchased before Jan. 1 can be kept as long as the owner registers them with the state as assault weapons.
As a result, sales of the long guns have at least doubled at many California gun stores, owners report. “When Gov. Brown signed that bill, the first 30 days in July were just insane,” said Joshua Deaser, the owner of Just Guns, a store in Sacramento. “It died down for a while but now we are back with everyone trying to get what they can before the end of the year.” Terry McGuire, owner of the Get Loaded gun store in the city of Grand Terrace in San Bernardino County, said people are clamoring to buy semiautomatic rifles before midmonth, given that the state background check process takes about 10 days. “We have people lined up out the door and around the block,” McGuire said. In the less than six months since the July 1 signing of the rifle ban, 257,895 semiautomatic rifles have been purchased, eclipsing the 153,931 rifle purchases reported to the state in all of 2015.