With the murder rate in Houston climbing for what is now the second year in a row, police and lawmakers are trying to determine if there is any way possible to make it tougher for killers to get their hands on guns.
Back in 2015, a total of 235 people were killed as a result of gun violence. That number went up 11% in 2016 to 260. A report from Houston police shows that approximately 83% of murder victims are always shot to death, which is a little bit higher than national gun statistics and makes a shooting death eight times more likely to occur.
According to Houston Police Department crime reports, on top of 83% of murder victims being shot to death, 10% are likely to be stabbed, 4% are likely to be beaten, and another 4% are likely to be killed by various other means. Surveys were sent to convicted murderers throughout Harris County who had used a gun to kill someone since 2014. The goal was to determine the following:
- How they obtained their gun
- How much they paid for it
- How often they went through a background check, if they ever did
Every single respondent stated that they used a handgun to take someone else’s life, with 78% saying that the most common weapon of choice being a 9mm. In other responses, 11% used a .357, while another 11% used a 40mm.
As far as how they obtained the gun, 63% of the respondents stated that they stole the gun from someone or somewhere else, while 25% claimed to have bought it from right off of the street. 13% stating that they bought theirs from a gun store. The average cost of a gun, they said, was $111. Other costs ranged from $100, $150, $80, $250, to even nothing at all.
In what was perhaps the most eye opening response in the survey, 90% of respondents stated that they were not legally permitted to purchase a firearm, and 100% of them stated that they did not have a concealed carry permit.
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