'Operation Young Guns' nets hundreds of arrests in North Florida

The Seventh Judicial Circuit started ‘Operation Young Guns’ initiative back in May to address the dramatic increase in gun violence involving young adults.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — An initiative put forth by the Seventh Judicial Circuit has generated 200 criminal cases, 190 defendants and over 570 charges for gun-related crimes.

The Seventh Judicial Circuit started the initiative, called ‘Operation Young Guns’, back in May to address the dramatic increase in gun violence involving young adults.

“When we look at what we call the young gun type of case, you’re looking at a juvenile up to the age, typically of around 25 years old,” said State Attorney R.J. Larizza during a news conference Monday.

 “We’ve had kids as young as 12 years old, who have been involved in gun violence or gun thefts, and all the way up to 25 to 28 years old. So we’re looking at that age range.”

Larizza says there has been a dramatic increase in kids going around the different neighborhoods throughout the Seventh Circuit. 

“And this by the way, folks, this is not just a Seventh Circuit problem or not just a state of Florida problem,” he explained. “This is a national problem and national epidemic of gun violence with young people stealing guns, using guns and committing terrible crimes, violent crimes.”

He says guns typically migrate within the state of Florida and beyond after they’ve been stolen. These guns are traded, they’re sold, and they’re used over and over and over again to commit crimes.

“The goal of our operation is not just cooperation, because we have great cooperation within the Seventh Circuit, but to also attack this problem and get these folks off the street that are committing these violent crimes…,” said Larizza.

  • Flagler – 83
  • Putnam – 87
  • St. Johns – 117
  • Volusia – 283

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