Violence Policy Center Backgrounder on Gun Crime, Gun Possession, and Gun Exposure in Tennessee 

For Release:   Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Washington, DC–In the wake of yesterday’s school shooting in Jacksboro, Tennessee, the Violence Policy Center issued the following brief backgrounder on firearm crime and gun possession in Tennessee:

  • Tennessee ranked first in the nation for the rate of violent crime committed with firearms (a rate of 251.2 per 100,000, compared to the national average of 120.5 per 100,000). [Source: “Crime State Rankings 2005,” Morgan Quitno Press, which are based on 2003 statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)].
  • Tennessee ranked first in the nation for the rate of aggravated assault with a firearm (a rate of 153.3 per 100,000, compared to the national average of 57.7 per 100,000). [Source: “Crime State Rankings 2005,” Morgan Quitno Press, which are based on 2003 statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)].
  • Tennessee ranked sixth in the nation for the rate of juveniles arrested for murder (with a rate of 5.1 per 100,000, compared to the national average of 3.3 per 100,000). [Source: “Crime State Rankings 2005,” Morgan Quitno Press, which are based on 2003 statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)].
  • For Tennessee adult households with firearms, 46.4 percent had a firearm in the household, 12.0 percent kept a loaded firearm in the household, and 6.6 percent kept a loaded and unlocked firearm in the household. [Source: Okoro, Catherine A., et al, Prevalence of Household Firearms and Firearm-Storage Practices in the 50 States and the District of Columbia: Findings From the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2002, Pediatrics, Vol. 116, No. 3, September 2005.
  • For Tennessee households with children and youth under the age of 18, 9.7 percent kept a loaded firearm in the household, exposing an estimated 136,340 children and youth. [Source: Okoro, Catherine A., et al, Prevalence of Household Firearms and Firearm-Storage Practices in the 50 States and the District of Columbia: Findings From the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2002, Pediatrics, Vol. 116, No. 3, September 2005.]
  • Tennessee law tracks federal law on juvenile gun possession and prohibits any juvenile (defined as any person less than 18 years of age, per Tenn. Code 39-17-1319(a)(2)) from knowingly possessing a handgun with certain enumerated exceptions. There is no minimum age to possess rifles and shotguns in Tennessee. [Source: Legal Community Against Violence, State and Local Laws http://www.lcav.org/content/state_local.asp]

 

 

 

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