Duluth Police respond to uptick in gun violence
DULUTH, MN. (KBJR) - Duluth Police are ramping up efforts to prevent gun violence after an uptick in shootings in recent weeks.
Chief Mike Tusken says in the average year, his officers respond to around 20 shootings.
Now, only halfway through 2022, they’ve already hit that number.
“We’ve had 20 shooting incidents,” Tusken said. “Six alone in June, seven in April.”
Six of this year’s incidents have been accidental shootings.
“This isn’t something that’s an anomaly that just happens once every blue moon,” Tusken said. “We have six of them this year, incidents where people have been hurt or rounds were shot when people certainly weren’t handling guns safely.”
Tusken said they are also seeing more crimes involving guns.
“Many times people who shouldn’t have guns, prohibited, are getting guns,” he said. “And they’re getting guns because oftentimes they’re stolen from people who are law-abiding citizens.”
St. Louis County Attorney, Kimberly Maki, said she will be vigorously prosecuting cases involving firearms.
“Part of that aggresive stance is that we generally don’t negotiate or offer plea agreements on gun charges,” she said. “And we won’t agree to departures from the sentencing guidelines for firearm crimes.”
Tusken asks gun owners to be proactive in keeping their guns locked away and stored safely.
“If you have guns and they’re not safely stored and they’re stolen, the likelihood is that those guns are going to end up in the hands of people who should not have guns, who ultimately are going to make it more dangerous for all of us,” he said.
Tusken said gun owners should never leave a gun in a car or somewhere they can be easily accessed if their home or business is broken into.
He also asked the public to come forward with any information about individuals who illegally own firearms or threaten anyone with a gun.
“We’re not waiting for shootings to happen,” he said.
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