SAN FRANCISCO, May 24 (Xinhua) -- Firearm incidents cost Santa Clara, a U.S. county in Northern California, 72 million U.S. dollars each year, according to a report by San Jose Spotlight on Monday.
The estimate covers the costs of public sector responses to gun violence. Margaret Petros, executive director of Mothers Against Murder, a nonprofit that assists victims of violent crimes, said she was stunned by the financial cost of gun violence in Santa Clara County. She noted the financial burden of gun violence can be traumatizing for families.
The county's Assistant District Attorney James Gibbons-Shapiro also said that shootings have impacts on communities throughout the county that go deeper than dollars.
The report claims Santa Clara County had about 550,000 firearms in 2021, roughly one gun for every four residents.
Over the past two decades, 1,494 county residents have died from firearm-related injuries, with the most common cause being suicide. The report shows Latino residents are disproportionately impacted by gun violence.
More than half of all nonfatal firearm injuries reported at emergency rooms between 2016-2020 were for Latinos, who only account for 25 percent of the county's population, the report said.
County Supervisor Cindy Chavez said at a news conference Monday that the county decided to examine the cost of gun violence following the 2019 shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival which killed three and injured at least 15 others.
The county is considering enhanced gun control measures just before the first anniversary of the mass shooting at a Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) yard north of downtown San Jose. Nine people were killed during the attack, which prompted San Jose officials to crack down on gun violence.
In Santa Clara County the number of non-serialized guns found at crime scenes went from four in 2015 to 293 in 2021, according to the report.