Gun crimes and violence are issues that are always under a microscope in the U.S. It is something that news sources, law enforcement, political figures and even the public all have an opinion about.
Regardless of opinion, this subject has once again taken center stage at the national and state levels as many sources say the rate of violence is increasing.
What do the reports say?
Over the last few years, gun violence and gun-related deaths have been on the rise throughout the United States. There was a 30% increase nationwide. Yet, the increase was even higher in North Carolina.
The Charlotte Observer reported that North Carolina saw a 31% increase in gun violence. This was marginally higher than the national rate, but it is a sharp increase for the state – and from previous years. The report noted a few reasons that might be behind this sharp increase, including:
- The significant changes the pandemic brought to young peoples’ lives
- An increase in gun sales nationwide
- The changes in police actions after the death of George Floyd
Across the country, reports also saw an increase in gun violence by younger people. Many believe this is due to influence from older individuals or groups. Adults may convince younger people to commit violent crimes because they will face less serious charges since they will not be tried as an adult.
Increases in crime usually lead to a crackdown
A rise in any type of crime generally means increased attention from law enforcement. North Carolina already takes firearm and weapons charges very seriously. An increase in the rates of gun violence will likely mean law enforcement will crack down on a wide range of weapons charges, including:
- Illegally carrying or possessing a weapon
- Assault with a deadly weapon
- Other violent crimes involving weapons
Federal agencies are already cracking down on weapons trafficking. However, this may also translate to a crackdown on other crimes involving weapons. Individuals must be aware of the heightened scrutiny – and heightened risk – they might face.