Mass shootings are seemingly in the news every month. As a result, the calls for stricter gun control laws in New Jersey, New York and everywhere else in the United States have become more frequent, and louder, than ever. The response has generated a fierce debate about whether state and federal governments should be allowed to limit the citizenry’s access to firearms at all if it will help save lives.
CNN.com recently posted an article that featured several graphics providing some perspective on the gun control debate. For example, one graphic shows that the U.S. currently has more firearms owned by civilians than any single country in the world. With just one exception (Yemen), the rate of gun ownership in the United States is more than twice as high as any other nation, with nearly 90 guns per 100 people.
Not only is gun ownership extremely high in the United States, the demand for more guns is also rising at record rates. Another CNN graphic indicates that firearm background checks, which are performed when a person attempts to purchase a gun, tend to spike in the immediate aftermath of a high-profile mass shooting. Whether it’s the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting in July 2012, the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in December 2012 or the San Bernardino CA attack in December 2015, the FBI saw a surge in the sales of firearms following these violent incidents.
While it makes sense that people would seek out handguns in response to frightening mass shootings, it also makes sense that law enforcement is cracking down on handgun ownership because a handgun is the weapon most likely to be used in a homicide in New Jersey and the rest of the U.S. In fact, according to the FBI Uniform Crime Report, handguns are responsible for 20 times as many deaths each year as rifles or shotguns.
For more information about the scope of the gun violence problem in America, read the CNN.com article, “U.S. Gun Violence: The Story in Charts and Graphs.”
New Jersey has some of the toughest gun laws in the country. That’s because the NJ Graves Act imposes mandatory terms of incarceration for illegal handgun possession offenses. If you or a loved one has been charged with a gun crime in NJ, it is imperative that you contact a qualified criminal defense attorney. John W. Tumelty is an experienced criminal defense lawyer who will fight tirelessly to defend you against your weapons offense charges. Contact Mr. Tumelty today for a free consultation.