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Attorney General Lockyer Releases 2004 Gun Sale Statistics
California Firearm Sales Remain At All-Time Low
(SACRAMENTO) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer today announced sales of firearms during 2004 increased to 315,065 from 290,376 in 2003. Sales of handguns and long guns in 2004 were slightly higher than 2003's all-time low and remained less than half the high-water mark of 642,197 established in 1993.
From January through December of 2004, Californians purchased a total of 145,335 handguns and 169,730 long guns, pending a 10-day waiting period and background check of the buyer. In 2003, the number of handgun sales totaled 126,233 and 164,143 long guns were sold.
"Gun transactions have been relatively stable over the past five years, averaging about 340,000 purchases a year," Lockyer said. "With the exception of 1999, not only have gun sales remained stable, they have remained low over a nine year period and far below the average of 600,000 a year when violent crime peaked in the state between 1992 and 1994."
California law limits individuals to purchasing only one handgun every 30 days, but permits the purchase of multiple long guns at the same time. When more than one long gun is purchased at one time, it is noted as one purchase.
During 2004, a total of 3,325 sales were rejected by the California Department of Justice because the purchaser fell into a prohibited category. Persons prohibited from purchasing, owning or possessing firearms include convicted felons, individuals who are the subject of a restraining order and those who are deemed to have a mental condition that makes them a danger to themselves and others. More than 1,000 of those denials were based on criminal convictions, including four for homicide, 19 for sex crimes, 20 for robbery, and 1,003 for assault.
"California's gun safety laws are among the most effective in the country," Lockyer said. "By preventing more than 3000 violent and dangerous individuals from purchasing a gun last year we are saving lives and reducing crime in California."
Attached are the Dealers' Record of Sales (DROS) worksheet for 2004 that summarizes firearm purchases and denials, and a summary of California firearm purchases and denials since 1972.