Celebrities and other wealthy residents in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills have been flocking to gun stores to stock up on firearms and ammunition as violent crime continues to spike in the city thanks, in part, to left-wing ‘reforms’ that critics say are far too easy on perpetrators.
The owner of Beverly Hills Guns, which first opened — by appointment only — in July 2020, says that well-to-do residents in enclaves stretching from Santa Monica to Hollywood Hills have grown increasingly concerned with so-called ‘smash-and-grab’ robberies at high-end retailers, as well as more open drug dealing and violent home invasions, according to Los Angeles Magazine.
As such, they are arming up, including several self-described ‘progressives’ who have taken anti-gun positions in the past and have never owned or shot a firearm.
Other wealthy residents have also talked about beefing up security systems at their homes and their modes of travel to include up-armored vehicles, bulletproof glass in their homes, and safe rooms after some celebs were stalked by thieves into their homes, including one star of “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” and a BET host.
The uptick in firearms interest and purchases also comes after philanthropist Jacqueline Avant, 81, wife of music legend Clarence Avant, was killed during a home invasion and robbery in December.
“Everyone has a general sense of constant fear, which is very sad,” Russell Stuart, owner of Beverly Hills Guns, told the magazine.
“We’re used to this being like Mayberry,” he said, a reference to a fictional North Carolina town depicted in the 1960s TV series, “The Andy Griffith Show” and “Mayberry RFD.”
That said, last year violent crime in Hollywood rose 25 percent as the homicide rate doubled, robberies rose by more than 41 percent, and shootings by nearly 55 percent, according to Los Angeles Police Department stats, all of which are far higher than the rising crime stats throughout Los Angeles itself.
“Beverly Hills is definitely a target,” David Perez, a security expert who previously worked security in the Clinton White House and at the Pentagon, told the magazine.
“We’re telling clients, ‘Hey, don’t go out with flashy jewelry. Try to keep a low profile, Instead of driving the Bentley, maybe just take the SUV,'” he added.
The magazine noted that crime began to spike in the wake of the George Floyd death in Minneapolis, with Black Lives Matter protests spread throughout the country including Beverly Hills, where shops on Rodeo Dr. and other high-end locations were smashed and looted.
Smash-and-grab robberies continued and expanded into 2021, as gangs of robbers target retail outlets in lightening-quick operations, escaping in waiting vehicles.
Critics have increasingly pointed fingers at left-wing prosecutors and district attorneys like Chesa Boudin in San Francisco and George Gascon in Los Angeles County for going light on criminals and letting many back out on the streets within a few hours without requiring bail.
“The fact that this has happened, her being shot and killed in her own home, after giving, sharing and caring for 81 years has shaken the laws of the universe. The world is upside down,” talk host and author Oprah Winfrey noted following the death of Avant.
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