Armed and Dangerous: Guns on the Street and in Your Home, Part One

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EUREKA – They are powerful instruments that can be used to hunt, to protect, or simply to collect as a hobby. But too often, we hear about them used to hurt.

“We’re seeing so much gun violence associated with marijuana trafficking in many parts of the north coast,” Congressman Jared Huffman said. 

“It's a pretty well known fact in the criminal justice world that people who have illegal drugs, protect those drugs with firearms,” Chief Andy Mills from the Eureka Police Department said.

And drugs aren’t the only instance. Law enforcement in Humboldt County responds to various types of gun violence each year, not to mention the devastating rampages we watch on a national level.

“Crimes involving fire arms is pretty much consistent over the 30 years I’ve been with the sheriffs office. We go through periods where sometimes we have a higher number of crimes involving firearms,” Lt. Steve Knight from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office said.

Owning a gun is legal by the constitution and governed by federal and state laws. In California, we live under some of the strictest of those laws in the nation. But misuse continues, and our politicians can see why.

“There are loopholes right now, whether through gun shows or relatives or other loopholes,” Congressman Huffman said.

Loopholes that allow criminals to possess guns through the black market and perpetuate crime.

“Usually when criminals have firearms, the guns are not registered. The citizen that is going to be responsible with the firearm historically has registered the firearm,” Lt. Knight said. 

Law enforcement continually combats this crime. The Eureka Police Department has taken and destroyed hundreds of firearms off the streets this year. 

“We’re never going to completely prevent it. We have to talk about the mental health piece and the public safety piece. There's a lot to this and there's no one thing that will prevent these tragedies from repeating themselves,” Huffman concluded.