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Gun sales on the rise in California, state Justice Department says

July 27, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
According to the Justice Department, legal gun sales have increased during the past decade. In California, they are on-pace to set a record.

The state Department of Justice expects 725,000 weapons will be legally purchased this year, nearly twice the 370,628 guns purchased five years ago. And not everyone feels safer because of it.

"More guns, more trouble," said Fiona Laughlin of L.A. "More people with guns having more opportunities to shoot each other."

Experts say it's difficult to pinpoint a reason for the increase, because the state doesn't track the reason for purchases.

"It could be multiple reasons. It could be a political thing, it could be a marketing scheme, it could be anything, honestly, so I can't really say," said Joseph Im, an employee at the Los Angeles Gun Club.

But people around the Southland have their own theories about whether it's a response to tragedies like the Colorado shooting or other factors, like difficult economic times, and whether it's a good or bad thing.

"People are thinking maybe more violence might occur, people aren't working no more, unemployment is going up, all of that stuff is going on. I think people are feeling unsafe," said Juan Almanza.

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