EUGENE, Ore. — The Eugene Police Department reported a big jump in weapons offenses, and the number for those possessed illegally even bigger.
EPD released a report revealing a 33-percent increase in weapons offenses, with an 89-percent increase in those possessed illegally and a 19-percent increase in concealed weapons.
As to why this might be, they’re still looking into it.
Over the weekend the police were busy with at least three incidents involving firearms. Near the University of Oregon campus, a man fired at least 39 shots into the ceiling of his home near campus. Another man in North Eugene was taken in with three weapons, one of which was a stolen handgun.
The incidents bring the numbers close to home, but as to why they’re not so sure.
“We’ve struggled with that as to why we’re finding more illegally possessed weapons and the theories range,” said Capt. Karl Durr, Eugene Police Department.
It’s a different story in Springfield, though. Officers say they have actually seen a drop in their encounters.
“Our jail has an overall effect on criminal behavior. Although its misdemeanor crimes, it involves whole lot of felons,” said Sgt. John Umenhofer, Springfield Police Department.
Springfield police say they believe their ability to hold people accountable, as well as hold them, helps and deters folks from committing crimes in their jurisdiction as well as keeping repeat offenders off the streets.
As for the Lane County Sheriff’s Office, they couldn’t talk to the number of specific instances, but they did notice something else has been on the rise since 2013 began.
“We’ve seen a huge increase in the legal purchase of firearms and we see that in people coming down to get their concealed handgun licenses. And one of the difficulties with that of course is that there are more available for theft,” said Sheriff Tom Turner, Lane County Sheriff’s Office.
Despite everything, EPD says it’s good to catch these people now.
“While we’ve seen that increase in what we’ve obtained from illegal behavior, we have not seen that transcend into persons crimes,” Durr said.
While the reason behind the numbers still remains unclear, EPD wanted to make sure everyone, their staff and community, know about the findings. That way, everyone can be extra vigilant when it comes to protecting themselves and their loved ones.