Gun Sales Soar In California Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

So many things have been happening amid the coronavirus pandemic. There have been protests for the Black Lives Matter movement. Some states have started to ease lockdowns and slowly reopened their businesses. And now there’s word that gun sales in California have witnessed a surge during the global health crisis.

According to The Mercury News, about 164,000 background checks for gun purchases were made in March. That’s a 72% increase compared to the background checks done the month prior. It’s also regarded as one of the highest months in the past 20 years.

Based on the data obtained by authorities, this level of background checks is almost up to par with the number of checks made during the pre-presidential election in 2016. Apparently, there’s always been a spike in firearm sales every presidential election because people fear that the new administration would make it difficult for them to obtain guns.

Interestingly, it’s not only California that saw an increase in gun sales. Michigan, Texas, Arizona, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and other states have also witnessed over 90% one-year increase in gun sales. Experts believe that the increase was mostly fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The news comes months after Congress quietly allowed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct a research on gun violence without providing new funding for the endeavor.

A separate study showed the risk of suicide of non-gun owners and new gun owners in California. The study found that during a 12-year period, male gun owners had a 3.34 times higher rate of suicide than males who were non-gun owners. On the other hand, female gun owners had a suicide rate that’s 7.16 times higher than those who did not own firearms.

Depression has been a big issue during the pandemic as more people were stuck at home and could not physically socialize with others. Strong emotions also tend to build up as many people feel isolated and lonely during the coronavirus crisis and amid the social distancing orders.

Though there is still no concrete evidence to show that the spike in gun sales is somewhat related to the rise in depression cases, authorities advise that people should assess or reach out to a depressed person if that person recently made a gun purchase or has the intent to buy one.

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Violent crime like burglaries and assault spike in the summer. Pixabay