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by Peter Moskos

October 14, 2008

More on guns and Florida crime

'Guns are everywhere,' Orlando police chief says

A surge in murder and gunfire locally since the end of the federal assault-weapons ban in 2004.
Florida law makes it easy for any adult without a criminal record to buy a gun. Yet many legally purchased guns end up being used by criminals. The state routinely turns up in law-enforcement surveys as one of the top three sources of firearms that turn up in crimes elsewhere.
The 9 mm pistol reigns as the state's most-popular crime weapon.
Drug dealing was the most common crime connected to assault weapons in Orange County.
Cops consider assault weapons the deadliest firearms on the street. ... One riddled a girlfriend's car for jilting him. Another robbed a gas station, leaving behind his home address on a receipt for the just-purchased assault weapon. A third, who went shooting near his home, simply described himself as angry.
Looking over the data, Orange County Sheriff Kevin Beary said that Florida has become much more dangerous -- for residents and police officers -- since the end of the weapons ban.

"There should be a huge concern not just here locally but across the nation about the huge increases in the numbers of assault weapons and high-power semiautomatic pistols that our deputies and police officers are coming across," he said. "This shows that without the ban, the criminal element has definitely taken advantage of the market."

Henry Pierson Curtis writes more in the Orlando Sentinel. Read the whole story here. And my previous post on Florida, guns, and crime is here.

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