MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (FOX 5 DC) - Police officials in Montgomery County say reported crimes involving guns have nearly doubled so far this year compared to the same time last year, and are now giving insight on the rise.
Chief Marcus Jones addressed the violence at a briefing about new proposed legislation on Monday. He says the nature of the violence seems to have changed, referencing a strip mall that became a crime scene in Silver Spring on Sunday.
In that incident, a man was shot and injured and multiple cars were damaged by gunfire after some young men started arguing outside That Was Easy Barbershop.
Chief Jones says they believe 60 shots were fired, and he added that it’s not the first time this year that police have arrived at a scene with that many casings.
Chief Jones and State’s Attorney John McCarthy pointed to a connection between the increase in shootings and an increase in guns. They say when tempers flare, then shootings can happen.
"The presence of guns being involved in these types of incidents, and I think that’s another example of where people’s tempers sometimes get the best of them, and then, therefore, they believe that the answer to the solving of any of those types of altercations begins with a gun being displayed or, in fact, being fired at someone, and I think that’s very disturbing," says Chief Jones.
Many gun-rights advocacy groups argue that more law-abiding citizens carrying guns make communities safer.
Montgomery County Council will introduce legislation limiting who can carry guns in public spaces on Tuesday.