Weekly Update

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In last week’s Update, I discussed my suggestions for changes to federal and state law needed to adequately address gun crimes. I mentioned that veteran police officers have noticed a significant increase in the number of guns on the streets. Twenty-five years ago, it was unusual for an officer to find a gun on a criminal suspect; now it is routine.  Also because of state law, now it is commonplace and legal for people to openly carry guns in most areas without a permit.

More Guns = More Shootings. Since the federal assault weapons ban expired in 2004 and Tennessee state law loosened limitations in 2014 (guns in cars) and 2021 (permitless carry), the number of guns on the streets and in the hands of hundreds of teens and young adults has skyrocketed.

On a national level, the supply of guns has skyrocketed:


While at the same time, see the increase in the nation’s active shooter incidents since 2004:


On a state level, in 2014, the State adopted a law allowing people to have a gun in their car without training or a permit.  See the resulting number of guns stolen in cars in Memphis:


Far and away, the number one reason for the rise in car break-ins is that thieves are looking for guns. Often, they will forgo money, laptops, and other items of value, and only take a gun. And they are not stealing these weapons to go hunting. These guns are used to commit crimes, and unfortunately, sometimes result in another person needlessly losing their life.

A couple more data points show the proliferation of guns:

Year-to-date Guns Seized by Memphis Police

2021               2,070

2022               2,697              30% increase


Year-to-date Juveniles Arrested for Gun Charges

2021               121                

2022               224                 85% increase


Year-to-date Adults Arrested for Gun Charges

2021               1,453

2022               2,060              42% increase


But you can help. 

If you own a gun, please be sure to secure it in your home. Equally important, if you travel with a gun in your car—please, please, please lock it up.

A new era of animal services: Over the last several years, our animal services division has made remarkable improvements saving the lives of animals—currently sitting just below a 90 percent save rate.

What you may not know is in addition to the thousands of animals that the shelter team cares for each year, MAS also now helps thousands of pets in the community.


They added a new service in 2020 called the Pet Resource Center. With no additional staff, and all expenses for the program being paid by grant and donor funding, the team at MAS helped more than 4,100 families with pet-related resources in 2021. The did things like medical care, pet food, behavior training and rehoming support, all to keep those pets with their families and out of our city shelter. This year, they are on track to serve more than 5,000 families through that program.


Their work is being recognized on a national level, and they have been asked to present at major industry conferences and be part of nationwide research projects on how supporting pets in our community is the key to lifesaving in our shelter.


How can you help them continue to succeed? Follow the law and keep your pets contained, properly cared for, and get them spayed or neutered. And if you want to help the pets that DO end up at MAS; adopt, foster, or volunteer. My family and I adopted our sweet Summer in 2020, and it was the best decision we could have made. Reach out to MAS at mas@memphistn.gov if you want to be a part of their lifesaving work!


Keeping up foreign relations: Over the last week, I’ve had the opportunity to spend time with leaders from three different countries to share information about our city and to hopefully help grow economic opportunities in the future.


Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of meeting with the Japanese Consul General Yoichi Matsumoto.




Friday, my Irish eyes were smiling as I was reminded of grandmother when I met with Irish Ambassador Dan Mulhall.




And, this past Tuesday, I had the opportunity to spend some time with Laurens van Doeveren, Netherlands Deputy Consul General for Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee and Alabama.



As I say often when I speak to groups, Memphis is a city that has changed the world, and it was great share our story with the leaders from around the globe.

Enjoy your weekend! 



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