Between 2017 and 2020, Philadelphia recorded between 11,049 and 11,814 firearm licensure applications each year. That changed in 2021, when nearly 70,800 Philadelphians applied for licenses to legally carry guns, as Philadelphia Magazine first reported.
“If you were to relay the math, you would see that that corresponds … in a consistent manner to the rise in violent crime, especially violent gun crime and gun-related crimes in Philadelphia,” John Sullivan, a former Philadelphia police officer, told Fox News Digital. “I’m sure part of that is also related to COVID — increasing gun sales during that period. But that trend continues.”
The unusually high number of firearm license applications submitted last year came as Philadelphia saw a record increase in homicides last year. By the end of 2021, Philadelphia recorded a total of 562 homicide victims, compared to 499 in 2020 and 356 in 2019.
The Philadelphia Police Department (PD) has recorded 103 homicides so far in 2022 as of March 20 — a 3% decrease compared to the 107 homicides recorded during the same time period last year.
Sullivan believes the “dysfunctional” criminal justice system in Philadelphia “is either unable or unwilling to help people,” and therefore, people “have taken extraordinary steps” to protect themselves.
He also pointed to issues plaguing the Philadelphia PD, including difficulty recruiting new officers and retaining veterans, who are retiring early or moving outside the city to continue police work; a city ordinance making requiring new Philadelphia recruits to be residents of the city for at least a year; and budgetary changes combined with staffing shortages and rising crime.
“All of those things together have certainly had a negative impact on the department and its ability to do proactive policing,” he said. “They’re doing more with less than they’ve ever had.”
Story continues at: Crime is WAY up