Two types of gun violence are up this year, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press. This has city officials and community members alike concerned. In an effort to stop the upward trend, police are reaching out to young people, cautioning them against carrying weapons.
So far this year, St. Paul police have confiscated 348 guns. That’s a 67% increase over the same time last year. Also, calls of shots-fired are up 42% this year.
Both rates of reported shots fired and aggravated assaults (which involve the use of a gun) were up beginning last fall and have continued to climb. It could be due to the mild winter, or a growing number of kids who think they need to carry guns for self-protection.
Just last week a 5-year old boy was killed while sleeping on his grandmother’s couch when the house was shot at.
“When that bullet leaves that gun, you can never, ever take it back. So I’ve asked young people in the city…think first, think before you act,” says St. Paul Chief of Police Thomas Smith.
He is also calling on community leaders to step up and get involved. He says mentoring can go along way and community groups are often able to get to the roots of the problems.
Chairman of the African-American Leadership Council, Tyrone Terrill says families need to get involved.
“These guns are taking 5-year old, 10-year old, 15-year old, 20-year old children from our community way too early, so it’s about our community taking responsibility for what’s going on,” said Terrill. “Do we have a partnership? Yes, but we need a family partnership to address what’s going on in our community.”
The federal government is getting involved too, deputizing St. Louis police officers to go after gun crimes and seek federal charges and federal prison time.
Chief Smith warns that St. Paul is still a safe place but says he would like to keep it that way. Increased enforcement is no doubt one way he plans on doing just that.
Gun crimes are serious. They carry severe penalties that can have a lasting impact on your life. Prison time is just one of the consequences of a gun conviction. Carrying a criminal record throughout your life is another.
In order to avoid long-term consequences like these, you have to avoid a conviction. Working with a defense attorney may help. Contact our offices today to discuss the details of your gun charge and what can be done.