BEVERLY HILLS—Beverly Hills residents are purchasing guns at a high rate after experiencing an increase in violent crime throughout the canyons in the past year. 

Residents are also taking it upon themselves to form their own surveillance groups. They are also discussing other methods to protect themselves which include armored cars, safe rooms, and bullet proof glass for their homes. The city has hired two private security firms to aid the police force in the area.

Beverly Hills Guns, the city’s only gun store, has also seen people coming from the Santa Monica and Hollywood areas wanting to purchase firearms. 

Hollywood’s violent crime rate has gone up 25% over the past year. Hollywood’s homicide rate has also doubled.

Many of those purchasing guns are self-proclaimed progressives that state that they have never held a gun before but are afraid of the rising crime that has started after the Black Lives Matter protests. One local protest on Rodeo Drive ended in a riot and the city has been experiencing and uptick in smash-and-grab robberies ever since. Celebrities who live in the area have been stalked and had their homes broken into and robbed.      

In the past few months the increase in robberies caused Melrose officials to warn residents that those targeted are ones in expensive cars and wear expensive jewelry. It was advised that these items be kept hidden while out in public. This advice has also been relayed to the Beverly Hills community. 

David Perez, who is a security expert who was formerly employed as security in the Clinton White House, spoke with the Daily Mail and said that Beverly Hills is definitely a target. “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.”