The state Department of Justice says that California residents will buy 725,000 rifles, pistols and shotguns in 2012, "nearly twice the number they purchased five years ago, when 370,628 were acquired," the San Francisco Chronicle reports. And that's just the purchases that go through the system. The numbers have been going up yearly, even with the poor economy and the big nationwide drop in crime.
The state doesn't record the personal history of those who purchase guns, nor their reasons for buying them, so it's hard to pinpoint a reason for the increase, experts say.
There are theories, however.
One suggests that sales spike whenever there is a drumbeat to tighten restrictions on gun sales and ownership.