By Pamela Cruz and Manuel Ortiz. Peninsula 360 Press [P360P].
The hope for the arrival of a new year along with leaving behind a particularly difficult one in terms of violence has been dampened by the increasing use of firearms, and the beginning of 2022 has been bathed in blood in the Bay Area.
Thus, 2021 ended in the red in terms of gun violence, and 2022 began in the same way.
Just Monday night, January 3, a man and a woman were wounded during a shooting in San Jose, California.
Police responded to a report of a shooting at 6:04 p.m. in the 1300 block of North 1st Street, according to a tweet posted at 7:25 p.m. by the San Jose Police press office.
Both victims were taken to a local hospital and are expected to survive.
Police said they had no suspects as of the time of posting the information on social media, and advised people to avoid the area.
South in San Francisco, a 24-year-old man was killed on New Year's Eve in a shooting at about 9:30 p.m. at 200 Corwall St. in the Richmond District. It was the 56th homicide in San Francisco, the last of 2021. There were 48 homicides in 2020.
San Francisco's first homicide of the year occurred Monday, January 3 at 100 Brennan Street; the victim was an adult male.
Not far from there, in Oakland, 134 homicides were recorded in 2021.
Many of the firearms used in these crimes are known as "ghost guns," which has become a real problem in the state, since they do not have a serial number assigned to them, making them impossible to trace.
Late last year, California Attorney General Rob Bonta joined a lawsuit against three online sellers of "ghost guns," which sell home construction kits that are guaranteed to take minutes to assemble.
According to Bonta, two of the three companies being sued manufacture gun parts in California and do not assign them a serial number as required by state law.
"This industry will become more dangerous if it is not properly regulated. When firearms are home-built by people who haven't passed a background check and haven't had their gun properly serialized, it leaves law enforcement in the dark and leaves us all less safe," the official said at a news conference in San Francisco.
In 2019, "ghost guns" were associated with a fraction of gun-related deaths in San Francisco, but by 2020, nearly half of the guns recovered in homicide cases were of this type, said San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin.
In early December 2021, San Mateo County officials said they collected 425 firearms in a buyback in San Carlos.
At that event, $100 was paid per pistol, shotgun or rifle and $200 per assault weapon.
Among the 425 collected, six were assault weapons and three were "ghost" weapons.
Last month, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors approved spending up to $208,000 in reserves from revenue raised through Measure K, a 2016 voter-approved extension of a half-cent sales tax.
The county Sheriff's Office added $100,000 and the community group Citizens for a San Mateo County Gun Buyback contributed $67,000 to fund the events.
Two more gun buyback events will take place in 2022, according to the county.
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