The Sacramento Police Department is releasing the latest statistics on the rise in crime in the last coupe of years and even into the first few months of 2021. The Department says they have seen a significant rise in violent crime and gun related offenses, even reporting that the number of homicides are up since 2019. So far, the SPD says there have already been 24 homicides in 2021 with only 16 taking place in the entire year of 2020. Through May of this year, there have been at least 200 firearm-related assaults, which is a 120% increase compared to the same time frame back in 2020. The department says gun-related crimes take more time and resources to investigate, creating a longer response time and strain for emergency responders.
Sacramento Chief Daniel Hahn: "All too often over these past few years we have seen the devastating effects that this violence has on families and our community. Our department will continue to take illegally possessed guns off our streets while working with our community leaders to reach those most affected and to make our city safe for everyone.”
Meanwhile, sales of handguns in California are at an all-time high through the pandemic. Around 920,000 guns were purchased between March 2020 and April 2021. According to "The Trace," a website dedicated to reporting on gun violence, the state has seen a 66% increase in handgun sales. First-time gun owners accounted for nearly a-fourth of the sales. However, as COVID-19 restrictions have eased and vaccination rates increased in the state, gun sales have started to decline.