PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — While overall violent crime is down in Philadelphia this year, gun arrests and homicides are up. The number of firearms in the city is staggering, especially when compared to the biggest city in the country.
Philadelphia, a city of 1.5 million people, has about 38,000 active firearm permits this year alone.
In New York City, which has five times as many people, a fraction of that number at 2500 people.
“One of our biggest issues is gun violence,” says Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross.
He says gun-related arrests are up eight percent from last year, and is one of the hardest things for authorities to get a hold of.
“It suggests to us that our men and women are focusing on the right people without unduly affecting people in the neighborhoods,” said Ross.
The department has a newly established firearm intelligence bureau with the hope of reducing the number of guns plaguing our streets.
“Where we are collecting information as close to real time as possible, trying to connect dots appropriately, and be laser-like in our focus on these people that are committing these gun crimes,” Ross said.