Variety of teenagers charged with handgun possession has doubled in 2022

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A harmful development in Nashville is rising and is centered across the variety of weapons being stolen from vehicles and later used to commit violent crimes. The most regarding half is these weapons are ending up within the arms of juveniles.

In whole, 608 weapons have been stolen this 12 months and 70% of them had been stolen from vehicles.

“We do have a problem with guns and we have a problem with gun possession,” stated Jude Sheila Calloway with the Metro Juvenile Justice Center.

During the pandemic, the justice heart noticed a significant lower within the variety of teenagers having to come back to courtroom, however these days, there was a brand new concern. Judge Calloway says this new development is simple to identify.

“That trend that we are seeing that we are concerned about is the number of guns that our youth are finding. In particular, they are finding them in unlocked cars and the number of car thefts and gun possessions for youth is definitely on the rise and it’s something we’ve got to get a better handle on,” defined Judge Calloway.

Judge Calloway stated she sees all of it too typically — juveniles coming into the courtroom system for possessing a handgun. Between January 1, 2021, and March 31, 2021, there have been 25 juveniles charged with possessing a handgun. That quantity has greater than doubled this 12 months, with 57 juveniles charged with possessing a handgun.

“The problem is that they don’t have the maturity, the brain capacity to understand the seriousness of what it could mean if a gun in their possession were to go off. If they were to shoot someone, if they were to kill someone, if they were to kill themselves,” Judge Calloway defined.

Over the weekend, two teenagers had been arrested by Metro Nashville Police, after they fled on foot from a stolen Honda Accord. The teenagers, ages 15 and 16, had been each in possession of a handgun. News 2 requested, why are these teenagers carrying such harmful weapons?

“We’ve had youth that have said they take guns for their protection, that they’ve taken guns because the neighborhoods that their living in aren’t safe and they feel like they need to protect themselves with guns,” stated Judge Calloway, however she defined the precise purpose is tough to pinpoint.

The excellent news is that few juveniles who undergo the system come again. Judge Calloway defined adjustments have to be made.

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As a part of a PSA with Metro Police Chief John Drake and District Attorney Glen Funk, the three encourage residents to “Park SMART,” by locking firearms in a safe place and ensuring to not go away valuables within the automotive.

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