Weapon Offenses Fastest-Growing Juvenile Crime

<i> from Associated Press</i>

Nearly one out of four people arrested for weapon crimes are juveniles, and weapon offenses are the fastest-growing youth crime, the Justice Department reported Sunday.

A study by the department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics found that juveniles accounted for 23% of all weapon crime arrests in 1993, compared to 16% in 1974. Such juvenile arrests more than doubled, from fewer than 30,000 to more than 61,000 from 1985 to 1993.

Juvenile delinquency cases involving weapon violations grew by 86% from 1988 to 1992, more than any other type of juvenile offense.

Weapon offenses include the illegal use, possession, trafficking, carrying, manufacturing, importing or exporting of guns, ammunition, silencers, explosives and some types of knives.


The study showed that weapon violations are overwhelmingly committed by males and proportionately more prevalent among blacks than whites.

Males accounted for 92% of the arrests in 1993 for weapon offenses.

While whites accounted for 55.4% of the arrests, the arrest rate for blacks was five times that of whites. Among whites, 70 out of every 100,000 were arrested for weapon offenses in 1993. Among blacks, the figure was 362 out of every 100,000.