Officials tackle gun violence in Philly with buyback program

- For many communities across Philadelphia, gun violence remains a harsh reality.

Homicides are down 15 percent citywide compared to this time last year—127 down from 149—but up 26 percent across Southwest Philadelphia. As of mid-June 2018, that area has seen 43 homicides, up nine from the year before.

About 82 percent of those homicides involve guns, the leading cause of death for young black men between the ages of 20 and 24.

MORE: Bills to combat gun violence advance in Pa. House | Gov. Wolf unveils $1.5M grant program to reduce gun violence | Philadelphia police create new gun task force

Now, several local officials are teaming up in an effort to help curb the violence.

State Sen. Anthony Williams (D-Delaware County) and Philadelphia Police Inspector Derrick Wood joined Good Day Philadelphia to discuss the Safe Summer Gun Buyback program, which will be held Saturday in Southwest Philadelphia.

Residents are welcome to turn in any type of gun, with no questions asked.

The state is offering $100 gift cards for traditional rifles and shotguns and $200 gift cards for handguns and assault weapons.

The event is slated to run from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Abiding Truth Ministries.

Below are current Philadelphia gun violence statistics, as provided by the 12th and 18th Districts.

18th District – West Philadelphia

  • Homicides are down 25 percent year-to-date (8 in 2017 compared to 6 in 2018).
  • Shooting incidents (with no injury) are up 24 percent year-to-date (37 in 2017 compared to 46 in 2018).
  • Shooting victims (not fatal) are up 30 percent year-to-date (30 in 2017 compared to 39 in 2018).
  • Armed robberies are down 16 percent year-to-date (69 in 2017 compared to 58 in 2018).
  • Aggravated assault are up 2 percent year-to-date (60 in 2017 compared to 61 in 2018).

12th District – Southwest Philadelphia

  • Homicides are up 15 percent year-to-date (13 in 2017 compared to 15 in 2018).
  • Shooting incidents (with no injury) are up 26 percent (53 in 2017 compared to 67 in 2018).
  • Shooting victims (not fatal) are up 40 percent (42 in 2017 compared to 59 in 2018).
  • Armed robberies are down 21 percent year-to-date (76 in 2017 compared to 60 in 2018).
  • Aggravated assault are up 30 percent year-to-date (67 in 2017 compared to 87 in 2018).
  • Firearms seized are up 14 percent year-to-date (116 in 2017 compared to 132 in 2018).

Citywide Statistics

  • Homicides are down 15 percent year-to-date (149 in 2017 compared to 127 in 2018).
  • By end-of-year in 2017, homicides were trending up (277 in 2016 compared to 310 in 2017).
  • Over the last 10 years, the lowest number of homicides was 302 in 2009. The highest was 391 in 2007.
  • Armed robberies are down 16 percent year-to-date (527 in 2017 compared to 444 in 2018).
  • Armed aggravated assaults are up 3 percent year-to-date (1,006 in 2017 compared to 1,041 in 2018).

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For resources for victims of violence in Philadelphia, see here.

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