Jul 12, 2022 - News

Gun violence is on the rise in D.C.

Homicides in Washington, D.C.
Data: Metropolitan Police Department. Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

D.C. has seen a rise in gun-involved crimes during the first half of 2022.

Why it matters: While the District’s gun problem has been diagnosed, it has proven difficult to treat. Multiple city agencies are working to decrease the number of gun-involved crimes, yet homicides have continued to increase every year since 2017, and 2022 is on track to continue the trend.

By the numbers: During the first six months of 2022, D.C. has seen 221 more violent gun-involved crimes compared to the same period last year, according to Metropolitan Police Department data.

  • Robberies with a gun are up by 202 incidents so far this year.
  • The District reached 100 homicides last month,  the earliest the city has reached that number since 2003, per WUSA9.
  • D.C. exceeded 200 homicides last year for the first time in 17 years.

Driving the news: Attorney General Karl Racine yesterday joined other AGs around the country in supporting a new federal rule regulating the sale of parts to build ghost guns. 

  • According to Racine's office, MPD recovered three ghost guns in 2017. The number jumped to 439 in 2021.

Last month, the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council released its Gun Violence Reduction Strategic Plan. It includes recommendations for violence prevention, intervention, and community transformation.

During a Washington Post event late last month, Linda Harllee Harper, director of the District's Gun Violence Prevention, emphasized the importance of both law enforcement and non-law enforcement approaches to fighting violent crime.

  • “We have to reimagine what the role of the police is, and we have to really take a step back and see what are other creative ways that we can address issues like mental health,” she said.

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