Tucson Shooting Awakens California Gun Debate

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Gun sales are surging in California since the Tucson shootings, and two new California sheriffs want to make it easier for Californians to carry concealed weapons.

The FBI says gun sales in California are 16 percent higher than this same week a year ago, and they are 60 percent higher in Arizona. Some people want to protect themselves; others fear the Tucson massacre will prompt new gun control laws.

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

In Sacramento, newly sworn-in Sheriff Scott Jones says he will be more lenient in granting permits to carry concealed weapons.

“It’s not like by issuing CCWs that I’m the only one arming the citizenry of Sacramento County,” said Jones. “The bad guys are already armed.”

Jones says those who show they need it, and undergo gun training, will be allowed to pack heat.

“Personal safety is a sufficient justification, absent compelling reasons to the contrary,” said Jones.

Karen Arntzen with the California Chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence said this will only fuel an Old West mentality.

“People who have gotten concealed carry permits have killed people,” said Arntzen.

Arntzen wants federal restrictions on who can carry, and a ban on high-capacity ammo clips.

“We hope every time there is one of these massacres that Congress will do something,” said Arntzen, adding that she knows it’s a long shot.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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