Despite Strict Laws, Guns Used In 80% of D.C. Homicides


Washington, D.C., is among the major U.S. cities with the highest percentage of people being killed by firearms, despite having one of the strictest gun-control laws in the country, reports the Washington Times. A Metropolitan Police Department report on homicides from 2001 to 2005 states that 901 of 1,126 homicide victims, or about 80 percent, were fatally shot. “It’s a problem,” said Police Chief Charles Ramsey. “It may be something that’s with us for a while.”

FBI crime statistics for 2005 show 10,100 of the country’s 14,860 homicide victims, or 68 percent, were killed by guns. In 2004, the last year for which comprehensive statistics were available, the 79.3 percent of homicides involving guns in Washington was higher than the 61.1 percent in New York. Chicago reported 75.2 percent, and Baltimore 77.5 percent. Atlanta had a much lower percentage of gun homicides, 73.2 percent, despite less-restrictive gun laws. In Georgia, gun owners are not required to obtain a license or a permit, there is no waiting period to buy a handgun, and no background check for second-party sales. Washington had a lower percentage of gun homicides than New Orleans at 92 percent, Los Angeles at 80.9 percent and Detroit at 80.5 percent.


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