Washington, DC, known for its harsh gun laws, can’t stop illegal guns or the violence stemming from them. The 51 homicides recorded in the District this year represent a 34 percent spike from the same period in 2020, and that was a 16-year high for murders in the American capitol.
In Montgomery County, PA, a 17-year-old was arrested for illegally selling 44 guns. District Attorney Kevin Steele says only a few of the illegal guns were recovered.
According to the Placer County Sheriff’s Office, 48 individuals were arrested for firearm possession between January 2019 and March 2020. This year, 90 arrests have been made for the same charge between January 2020 and March 2021, although the cause for the increase in illegal gun possession is not known.
In New York, 177 illegal firearms were seized by Newark Police since January 1st, a 31% increase over the same time period for last year.
“The Newark Police Division stands in solidarity with Mayor Baraka’s pledge to address violence as a public health issue and is vigilant about removing as many illegal firearms from our streets as possible,” Newark Public Safety Director Brian O’Hara said.
In Staten Island, New York City Police Department arrests for illegal possession of a firearm doubled over the first three months of 2020.
“It’s good news and bad news. It’s good news that we are making the incarcerations. The D.A.’s team works very, very hard to set high bail, but the bad news is that there are more guns on Staten Island,” Assistant Chief Frank Vega, the NYPD borough commander.
Jens Ludwig, writing in The Chicago Tribune, says:
One of the most striking changes in crime in Chicago over the past year is something few people are talking about. It’s not the utterly tragic 55% increase in homicides in 2020 compared with 2019. It’s the nearly 110% increase in gun carrying, which itself is a major contributing factor to the rise in gun violence.
The number of police-resident encounters — at least as measured by street stops and traffic stops — plummeted in 2020 as the global COVID-19 pandemic started. From January to April 2020 the number of stops dropped by 85%. Yet the number of illegal guns officers recovered during those encounters is actually up.
Unless the police have become dramatically better at figuring out who is illegally carrying a gun (and so have become better at figuring out who to stop), the implication is that lots more people are carrying guns illegally in Chicago.
This is a citywide phenomenon. We see massive increases in illegal gun carrying in literally every neighborhood in Chicago.
In Australia, police continue to bust record numbers of known criminals in possession of illegal guns. Over 800 illegal guns were seized from criminals during Operation Athena, a cooperative effort between state and federal police forces across Australia.
In New Zealand, police responded to 458 incidents where a firearm was involved in the first six weeks of 2021 alone. The government claims the increase in ‘gun crime’ in New Zealand – despite sweeping reforms introduced after the Christchurch mosque attacks in 2019 – means even more restrictive laws are required. Of course.
In May, 2020, New Zealand reported that the rates of gun crimes and killings using illegal guns were at their highest levels in a decade.
In Mexico, about 70% of guns used in crimes that are seized and traced originated in the United States according to an updated Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on efforts to combat firearms trafficking from the US to Mexico.
The Jamaica Constabulary Force reports illegal gun seizures are up 23 percent since January 1st. Jamaican police have seized 226 illegal firearms from criminals so far this year, including 161 pistols and eight submachine guns.
In Spain, police uncovered and raided a factory manufacturing 3D-printed weapons in the first bust of its kind.
In India, an illegal firearms factory in Firozabad was busted and ‘a huge cache of finished and unfinished weapons, along with machinery used in manufacturing, were recovered’. Illegal firearm manufacturing factories are an ongoing issue across India.
In Kenya, the government imposed a 30-day dusk-to-dawn curfew in Baragoi town, Samburu North, as part of an operation to root out illegal guns and the criminals who possess them. This crackdown came after a 1-year amnesty for those who voluntarily surrendered their illegal guns was unsuccessful.
In South America, Operation Trigger VI saw the arrest of almost 4,000 suspects across all 13 South American countries, with some 200,000 illicit firearms, parts, components, ammunition and explosives recovered.
What Does It All Mean?
What does this mean? For starters, it means criminals aren’t taking time off due to COVID. They’re more active than ever. It also appears to indicate that police are getting better at locating individuals in possession of illegal guns.
Last, it indicates there is a lesson to be learned if only Bill Blair and the entire Trudeau government were willing to listen.
As we can see around the world, attacking those who commit violent crimes is how you stop them from happening.
Our Liberal government’s focus on confiscating legally-owned firearms from licensed owners will never stop the problem they claim it will: stopping the violence committed by drug dealers, gang members and other violent criminals.
How can it?
This Liberal government completely ignores these violent, repeat offenders, so the violence continues unabated.
Only when this government gets serious about disarming the most violent among us will the senseless killings stop, but therein lies the rub.