The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation released a report Thursday detailing the nature and volume of reported firearm-related crime across the state over a four-year period.
The report, “Firearm Violence in Tennessee: 2013-2016,” utilizes data submitted by the state’s law enforcement agencies through the Tennessee Incident Based Reporting System. Among the report’s findings:
• From 2013 to 2016, firearm-related criminal offenses increased by 24.8%.
• The number of reported murders involving a firearm increased by 54.7% in the four-year study period.
• Aggravated assaults accounted for the largest portion of reported firearms-related crime and increased by 30.5%.
• Males (85.8%) were nine times more likely to engage in firearm-related criminal offenses than females (8.8%).
“I am deeply concerned with the findings of this report reflecting a substantial increase in firearm-related crimes in our state,” said TBI director Mark Gwyn, a McMinnville native. “This increase puts an additional strain on Tennessee’s law enforcement resources and poses a serious threat to public safety.”
Despite the rising statewide figures, gun violence has declined this year in the city of McMinnville. Police Chief Bryan Denton says there have been 21 offenses so far in 2017 where a firearm has been used during a crime.
Denton says that number is down from 40 gun crimes in 2016 and 32 gun crimes in 2015.
The TBI embarked on this study, the first of its kind in Tennessee, to support efforts by the United States Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics to develop a number of statistical studies to better understand a variety of crimes, including gun crimes.