The city of Philadelphia this week acquitted two former police officers of charges that they engaged in criminal conspiracy to bring weapons to the city’s East Mt. Airy neighborhood. The decision comes amid months of news accounts about the high toll of firearms deaths in the city, particularly in its working-class neighborhoods, and the strained relationship between law enforcement and urban communities.
Across the country, many firearms-related deaths were connected to mishandling of firearms, the misuse of firearms and or improper handling or storage of firearms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These statistics reflect the influence that personal firearms play in violent crime and other forms of death.
To understand the results in Philadelphia, it helps to know a little bit about gun laws and their role in crime. In the city, city and state, few restrictions on gun ownership exist. Here’s what you need to know: