The frequency of mass shootings in the United States is rising, creating an epidemic of fear. According to the Gun Violence Archives, mass shootings have increased every year since 2013. In 2020, they reported 611 mass shootings in the nation. That number is significantly higher than the prior year. Source: https://www.gunviolencearchive.org/
A Gallup poll conducted in 2017 revealed that nearly half of the population fear being victims of a mass shooting. The American Psychological Association completed a survey in 2019, reporting that a third of U.S. adults say their fear of mass shootings stops them from going to certain places and events. Gun violence is a serious public health and criminal law issue.
Mass Shootings in Schools
According to Education Week’s 2021 School Shooting Tracker, there have been 31 school shootings this year throughout the nation. A 15-year-old, killing four students in an Oxford, Michigan school on November 30, 2021, allegedly perpetrated this recent egregious mass shooting. The alleged shooter, Ethan Crumbley, is charged as an adult with four counts of first-degree murder and terrorism, among other charges. Prosecutor Karen McDonald has charged the alleged shooter’s parents with involuntary manslaughter, breaking new legal ground. Can a minor’s parents be held responsible for the gun violence of their child? There is an ongoing discussion as to whether the parents contributed to or could have prevented the events. The Michigan prosecutors believe they have a strong case, based on evidence that the parents were grossly negligent and reckless in providing their son access to a gun.
Advocates for Parental Liability
In the past, parents of children who commit mass shootings have been under scrutiny about whether they should bear some blame. Those that advocate the bold move to charge Ethan Crumbley’s parents with involuntary manslaughter believe that parents play a role in gun violence. They believe parents should be held culpable when purchasing a gun and enabling a minor child to access it.
Child Access Prevention Laws
The majority of states have Child Access Prevention laws. However, there are many variations in these laws across the nation. Fourteen states, including Florida, impose criminal liability for a person who intentionally or carelessly allows minors under the age of 16 to have unsupervised access to firearms. (Florida Statute 790.174). However, these laws do not address the use of these weapons in mass shootings. In Florida, a violation of the law is a misdemeanor of the second degree.
The AP Law Group Provides Aggressive Defense for Florida and Federal Weapon’s Crimes
Sadly, gun violence and mass shootings are pervasive problems affecting our communities, families, and children. If you face criminal gun or weapon charges, contact The AP Law Group. Attorney Tania Alavi is a compassionate advocate and a seasoned trial attorney focusing on defense. She has a certification to represent adults, juveniles, and at-risk youth with mental health issues. Attorney Andrew Pozzuto is an experienced criminal defense attorney for adult and juvenile crimes. He routinely handles federal and state cases, including murder and homicide.
Call The AP Law Group at our Ocala or Gainesville offices at 352-732-9191 if you would like to speak with a gun crime defense attorney. We are committed to finding solutions for challenging and complex situations.