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APD: Guns Used in a Quarter of Violent Crimes

Guns were used in nearly a quarter of violent crimes and disorderly conduct cases in Austin from 2010 to 2012, according to an analysis by Austin police. 

Crimes most likely to involve the use of a gun were murders and robberies. About 40 percent of murders and 38 percent of robberies involved firearms. More than 17 percent of aggravated assault cases involved the use of guns. Firearms were used in almost three percent of the 675 rape cases reported from 2010 to 2012. 

The details are in a memo dated May 30 from APD chief Art Acevedo to the Mayor and City Council. It comes after council asked city staff to investigate the role of guns in local crimes. 

The analysis concludes that there is no definitive method to evaluate the level of gun violence in Austin or any other municipality. It says that crime incidents involving the use of a firearm are relatively low, which "makes it challenging to formulate effective preventative measures."

APD says Austin remains one of the safest cities of its size in the United States, and Acevedo points to national crime statistics collected by the FBI. You can review those numbers and compare cities using the FBI's online Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics tool.

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @KUTnathan.
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