Spike in illegal guns downtown in 2021, Austin Police stats show

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — There is a dramatic spike in illegal guns downtown, according to Austin Police Department statistics.

Numbers we obtained show two crimes, unlawful carrying of a weapon and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, have more than doubled this year.

Statistics we obtained show two crimes, unlawful carrying of a weapon and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, have spiked in APD's downtown sector.
Statistics we obtained show two crimes, unlawful carrying of a weapon and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, have spiked in APD’s downtown sector.

On Thursday morning, APD arrested Cyron Carter following a shooting at 6th and Neches Streets, in the heart of Austin’s Downtown Entertainment District. Investigators say Carter exchanged gunfire with another man, who was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

“Luckily everybody who worked here during the night was safe and out of harm’s way,” said Wayne Holmes, who manages The Smoking Caterpillar just feet away from where the shooting took place. “Nobody I know was a casualty in any form or fashion.”

Carter faces a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Court records show he was a convicted felon from a 2017 crime, and as a result, shouldn’t have had a gun under Texas law.

Earlier this week we told you the Travis County District Attorney’s Office announced a new plan to address the increase in gun violence. One component is a countywide firearm surrender protocol, as a condition of release.

Right now, county prosecutors can ask a judge to order someone facing certain charges to surrender their gun to the Constable’s Office. But District Attorney José Garza says until recently, it wasn’t like that.

“In instances where a judge did order the surrender of a firearm, that order was often satisfied by turning those firearms over to a relative,” he said. “From our perspective that is insufficient.”

The DA argued it’s even more important to prevent gun violence before it happens. That’s largely what the new plan would try and address. More details can be found here.

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