(WFXR) — As gun violence continues to be a top concern in many communities, there have been several reports analyzing the impacts of guns and buyers.
According to a report from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), people who purchase guns that are later used in crimes, are known as crime guns.
USAFacts complied four main takeaways from the ATF report about crime guns:
- The share of crime guns traced back to women is on the rise
- Young adults are a disproportionately large percentage of people who buy guns later used in crimes
- A buyer is not necessarily the person who uses the gun to commit a crime
- The share of crime guns traced to people ages 18 through 34 is increasing
In 2017, 83% of crime guns traced by the ATF were bought by men, and 17% were bought by women. Four years later, that percentage increased to 22% for women, and trends show that younger people are buying and using more guns seen in crime.
A graph from USAFacts shows young adults between the ages of 18 and 34 were 22% of buyers of traced crime guns.
The 2022 Virginia Crime Analysis Report from Virginia State Police (VSP) revealed that handguns were the most commonly used firearm in violent crimes, specifically in aggravated assaults.
The ATF report continues, showing firearms were used in more than one-third of violent crime aggravated assault cases and that in 2021, adults aged 18 to 24 only made up nine percent of the U. S. population, but were traced back as 22% of the buyers in gun-related crimes.
It is important to note that 3% of people who possessed guns connected to crimes were minors and not legally permitted to buy a gun. This indicates the guns used in crimes were being obtained and used by people other than the initial purchaser and/or owner.
Data from the ATF report shows that between 2019 to 2021, the share of guns between the ages 18 through 25 who purchased guns increased by 3%, and people between the ages of 25-34 increased by 2%. The percentage of guns purchased by people 35 or older decreased by 5%.
Virginia State Police say in 2022, there were 562 reported homicides throughout the state and 42.7% of victims were young males between the ages of 18 and 34. Note that not all homicides were a result of gun violence.
As violence and gun-related crime continue to increase across Virginia, a spotlight has been put on the Roanoke Valley and central Virginia regions with recent local events. In less than a year, 18 people died from gun violence in Roanoke. Per this report, three minors have passed away from gun violence in Lynchburg, including a 6-year-old boy who was playing video games in his own home.
Also, in February of 2023, WFXR News began investigating gun violence in the Roanoke Valley after several shootings took place in the Hunt Avenue area. It was learned that $32,000 in funding was awarded to the non-profit group, “Better Agreements,” by Roanoke’s Gun Violence Prevention Commission to train people on reducing gun violence. As of February 2023, only five people have completed the program.
For more information, you can visit USAFacts.com.