FBI Releases New Statistics Regarding Homicides Involving Firearms

, Posted: Thu, January 17 2013 at 6:25 PM, Updated: Thu, January 17 2013 at 6:44 PM

This week the F.B.I. released new information, shedding light on what crime looked like for the first half of 2012.

Oregon ranked relatively low, at number 37, on the national list of the highest number of homicides from a firearm.

"Oregon has a relatively low murder rate, which is good. Since you have low numbers you can't rely too much on what the statistic say because you are dealing with a small sample," said Medford Police Lieutenant Mike Budreau.

However, that's a different story for Illinois. who ranked at the top of the list.

In 2011 alone, 83% of their murders involved a firearm.

Back here at home, gun control activist Melissa Mitchell-Hooge says while the numbers in Oregon are improving, they are still too high.

"We are at a tipping point in this country that we have so many of these massacres occur just one after the other, that we have to take a stand and say no more," said Mitchell-Hooge.

That's exactly what's she's doing, taking a stand and organizing the southern Oregon chapter of One Million Moms for Gun Control.

The organization is less than a month old but already is sending a strong message to Washington.

Letting them know that firearms themselves aren't the issue.

"I do believe most people by and large who own guns are responsible gun owners. What we do have a problem with is these weapons so easy to purchase and background checks are not thorough enough," Mitchell-Hooge explained 

Budreau didn't comment on background checks when NBC 5 spoke with him Thursday but says it's not just firearms that are an issue.

"Around here at least, I wouldn't say firearms are the most common method for murders, we find stabbings and other methods to commit murders."

In 2012, Medford only had one homicide that involved a firearm.

But for many, that number is still too high.

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