May 17, 2022 News & Press Releases

Governor Youngkin Announces Violent Crime Tasks Force: Fails To Address Number One Reason for Rise in Violent Crime – Guns

by Democratic Party of Virginia

Richmond, VA – Yesterday, Governor Youngkin and his far-right Attorney General announced the creation of a task force aimed at curbing violent crime. What the Governor fails to mention is the number one reason for rising violent crime – guns. A recent report found that guns are the cause in 76% of violent crimes. The latest data show that if Governor Youngkin were serious about cracking down on violent crime he would be tackling this issue head-on and talking about getting dangerous guns off our streets. 

The latest data show:

Gun violence is driving homicides:                            

  • Nationally, guns are used in 76% of all homicides.
  • There was a 24% increase in gun homicides in 2020 compared to 2019.
  • Homicides were more likely to involve guns, and shootings were more likely to result in deaths in 2020 and 2021 versus past years.

Heightened access to guns has led to more violent crime:

  • Americans bought an estimated 22 million guns in 2020—nearly 65% more than the previous years sales.
  • Surges in gun purchases have been linked to increased risk of gun violence.
  • In 2020, twice as many newly purchased guns were linked to crimes and recovered by police twice than in 2019.
  • Surging gun purchases have been linked to more public carry and higher incidences of violent crime.  

This announcement comes after Republicans refused to support the budget proposed by Governor Northam and Senate Democrats, which includes $27.4 million in funding to create the Virginia Center for Firearm Violence Intervention and Prevention, and spent the 2022 legislative session attempting to roll back life-saving measures. From repealing laws banning guns in daycares to allowing guns on school property, Republicans demonstrated their commitment to putting more guns on our streets while Democrats reaffirmed their commitment to keeping our communities safe. 

“If the Governor is serious about curbing violent crime, then getting dangerous guns off the street should be his number one priority,” said DPVA spokesperson Gianni Snidle. “Instead of playing politics, the Governor should follow the lead of Virginia Democrats and ensure that crucial gun safety measures remain in place and that people who commit violent crimes do not have access to firearms.”