Firearms and Crime - Weapons Offenses
arrests table accounted age
Weapons offenses are violations of statutes or regulations controlling deadly weapons, which include firearms and their ammunition, silencers, explosives, and certain knives. All fifty states, many cities and towns, and the federal government have laws concerning deadly weapons, including restrictions on their possession, carrying, use, sales, manufacturing, importing, and exporting.
Table 5.14 shows arrest trends for all crimes for the period 1993 through 2002, based on reports from 7,596 law enforcement agencies. While total arrests fell only 1.9% during that ten-year period, arrests for weapons offenses fell nearly 41%.
Characteristics of Weapons Offenders
Table 5.14 shows that people under the age of eighteen accounted for 24% of all arrests for weapons offenses in 1993 and 22% of arrests in 2002, although the age group twelve to seventeen accounted for only about 9% of the total population. Arrests for weapons offenses dropped a dramatic 39% amongst adults during this ten-year period.
Arrests by race and age for all crimes for the single year 2002 are shown in Table 5.15; the data differ from the data in Table 5.14 because more law enforcement agencies (10,370) reported the arrest figures used in Table 5.15. Whites, who make up about 75% of the population, accounted for 62% of the arrests for weapons offenses. African-Americans, who make up about 12% of the population, accounted for 36% of the arrests for weapons offenses.