September 16 2021
Elisabeth Shepard, Communications Director
DA Mike Schmidt advances efforts to address gun violence with release of Firearms Data Dashboard, live today
PORTLAND, Ore. – Today District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced that a Firearms Data Dashboard is now live on Multnomah County District Attorney’s (MCDA) website. The Dashboard was developed in direct response to the unprecedented increase in gun violence across the county and the nation.
“We emphatically support the MCDA’s effort to make gun crime data more accessible to the community. Clear, accessible data is one of the best tools we have to inform public policy around reducing gun violence and it allows us, as a community, to track our progress toward shared goals. Ending gun violence in Portland and surrounding communities will require a highly coordinated, whole of community effort. We appreciate and thank MCDA for their steadfast partnership.” Acting US Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug stated.
The Firearms Dashboard empowers the public to view all gun crimes prosecuted by the District Attorney’s office over the last three years. It is searchable by date, location, race and gender of both victims and perpetrators and type of crime committed. These search options can be displayed on an interactive map. Gun sales in the United States went up by 65% in 2020 compared to the previous year, a trend that has continued in 2021. The increase in gun purchases has closely tracked an increase in gun related violence, both in the Portland metro area and nationally.
“Black, Brown and Immigrant communities are disproportionately impacted by gun violence. This is a deadly symptom of systemic racism and disinvestment, exacerbated by the global pandemic which has hollowed out our schools, limited the activities of our crucial community based organizations and shuttered other critical services that our communities depend on. I appreciate DA Schmidt’s efforts to name this problem head on with data. Now, we must get to work,” Multnomah County Commissioner Susheela Jayapal said.
The Schmidt administration has been vocal in its prioritization of gun violence and data transparency. The Firearms Dashboard marries these efforts to effect change by providing leaders with a deep catalogue of data to shape policy and identify the communities most impacted by gun violence. This is in addition to allocating all possible staff time to gun violence in a resource scarce environment, participation in a gun violence task force including local, state and federal authorities and working with community partners to better understand the drivers of gun violence.
“Gun violence has only continued to rise in our nation during the pandemic,” said Rachel Saslow, a volunteer with the Oregon Moms Demand Action. “We have seen this in our state, but this Firearms Data Dashboard is more than just numbers and data. This tool also will help us remember that these are people who have been taken by this senseless public health crisis. This dashboard allows everyone from community members to lawmakers to see not only how gun crime affects our communities and families, but how these numbers continue to rise. We are grateful to District Attorney Mike Schmidt for his leadership in bringing this important tool to the public.”