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Thousand Oaks

Local Gun Sales Jump With Tense Times

The number of Americans exercising their constitutionally protected Second Amendment right is growing year by year. Notably, gun culture is massively expanding to include first-time gun owners and many more women and older people.

“The age range has gone up about ten years in the last nine months,” said John von Colln, owner of the Thousand Oaks gun store VC Defense, in an interview with the Conejo Guardian. “Older people feel more vulnerable right now,” he says, but noted that “there is always a mix of races of people buying guns. Gun ownership is not a white, conservative thing.”

In 2020, gun sales hit record highs, as did federal background checks needed to obtain a firearm. According to data from the FBI, as reported by the Epoch Times, December 2020 was the “busiest month on record,” with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) processing nearly 4 million applications.

Von Colln says he has seen a “huge number” of people buying guns in the past two years. He noted that sales go up, especially during times of social or political unrest, hence the increase in the wake of the 2020 Black Lives Matter riots.

The right to bear arms is a “universal unifier; it crosses party lines. It’s everyone’s desire to be safe, and to have their family safe, and choose what they want to have as a tool to ensure that they are safe.”

John Von Colln

“There was a huge shift in who was buying guns during these COVID times,” said von Colln. “Around 85 percent of the people buying guns around that time had no firearm [at that current time], and about 50 percent had never had owned a firearm.”

He continued, “Over 50 percent were not of the typical political persuasion that people may envision [as gun-owners.]. People who think owning firearms is a left or right thing are wrong.”

More than 81.4 million Americans aged 18 and older own firearms, according to a 2021 National Firearms Survey. Von Colln points to a widespread misperception that all people who own guns belong to a similar socio-economic class or ethnicity or share political beliefs. In truth, gun owners widely vary in social and economic backgrounds, political leanings, sex and race.

That said, a recent Gallup poll found that “Republicans (50%), rural residents (48%), men (45%), self-identified conservatives (45%) and Southerners (40%), [are] the most likely subgroups to say they personally own a gun. Liberals (15%), Democrats (18%), non-White Americans (18%), women (19%) and Eastern residents (21%) are the least likely to report personal gun ownership.”

The right to bear arms is a “universal unifier; it crosses party lines,” von Colln told the Guardian. “It’s everyone’s desire to be safe, and to have their family safe, and choose what they want to have as a tool to ensure that they are safe.”

He added, “A lot of people buying guns are Democrats who probably previously wanted to take your guns away.”

Von Colln’s store was among those adversely impacted by the county’s illegal shutdown of businesses. He locked his doors on March 19 and didn’t reopen until early May. Still, “revenues in 2021 were very close to what they were in 2020,” he said.

Ammunition is rebounding somewhat from supply shortages that afflicted 2020 and beyond.

“Ammo is still pretty hard to get, but it’s starting to become more available,” said von Colln. “Warehouses aren’t working to full capacity because of the limited number of people [companies] are allowed to have working because of COVID, [but] the firearms industry is not as bad as it could be. … I’m still not getting everything I would want, but it’s not as bad as it could be given the supply-chain issue.”

1 COMMENT

  1. The predicament that most law abiding people find themselves in is that they can’t believe how our government representatives are enabling crime and criminals and making self defense a criminal activity. Depending on the local law enforcement and DA, you might find yourself behind bars for defending your self and property.
    The story of the Mark and Patricia McCloskey who used their legally owned firearms to protect their home from a mob of blm protestors breaking the gate down to their private street is a perfect example. Who could have ever imagined that the people breaking down a gate and marching into a private street for no other purpose than to terrorize the residents, would not be arrested and the husband and wife standing armed and ready in front of their house would be arrested?
    As crazy as this sounds, it is a reality for law abiding citizens, if you live in an area that believes that defending your homes from mobs of looters and vandals is a criminal offense, you better get ready with a hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay for a legal defense. And pray that your have a rational governor that might pardon you after you are falsely convicted.
    Any questions on why so many people are moving away from states that have this kind of crazy justice record? Let the pro criminal prosecutors and criminals have a great time with each other, that should be interesting?

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