A gun rights group in California called the Calguns Foundation (CGF) has published two reports on handgun carry licenses in the state, which show “significant increases in the number of California handgun licensees since it began carry license reform efforts.”

The group collected data from the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and other state agencies to find an increase of almost 30,000 handgun carry licensees registered in California since May of 2009, shortly after the historic D.C. vs. Heller court case in 2008.

“Californians are watching the news and hearing about thousands of criminals being released from prison early, robberies, assaults, and all sorts of other horrors,” Brandon Combs, the foundation’s Executive Director, explained. “It makes total sense that they’ve responded by acquiring handgun carry licenses so they can defend themselves and their loved ones when they’re away from home.”

The group reports that since 2010, the number of residents in Sacramento County with a carry license has increased from 269 to 3,764 in 2013, based on data from the DOJ. That is a 1,300 percent increase in three years. Added to that is the unlisted number of pending applications, applications on hold, and waiting list applications for registration.

Currently, the CGF has pending handgun license-relating lawsuits against Los Angeles Sheriff Lee Baca and Santa Clara Sheriff Laurie Smith for Second Amendment violations. Combs said he expects the number of lawsuits to increase. The organization is a 501(c)3 nonprofit and aims to defend the Second Amendment and “related civil rights.”

Another source shows California gun ownership has increased by 47 percent from 1981 to 1990, and by 58 percent from 2001 to 2010. On the other hand, the total California deaths from firearms have decreased from 3,054 in 1999 to 2,942 in 2014. These statistics suggest the increase of registered handheld guns is positively correlated with the decrease in gun attacks in California.

The study also shows an increase of interstate criminal gun trafficking in the state of California since jurisdiction was passed on gun control. Gun regulation in California is currently categorized as “restrictive,” relative to other states. The state of California does not recognize the right to private gun ownership at the same level as federal law.

California gun free zones include state/local buildings, public places, public transit facilities, polling places, vehicles, and schools.

Combs says he thinks the total number of California gun licensees is “still far too low.”

“Unconstitutional policies are still preventing tens of millions of law-abiding Californians from exercising their fundamental Constitutional rights. We’re going to fix that, whatever it takes,” he said.

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