STOCKTON (CBS13) — Teens in Stockton not even old enough to drive are getting arrested for robberies and even murder. But where are they getting the guns?

In the state of California, you have to be at least 18 years old to buy a rifle or a shotgun and 21 to purchase a handgun.

There is a program already in place to reduce crime and more officers being added to the police force, but community leaders say more work needs to be done to help keep guns away from kids.

There isn’t a day Lecia Harrison doesn’t think about her son, Brandon, who was gunned down three months ago as he was leaving a house party in Stockton.

“The pain, some days is so great, the emotional pain that you know, it feels physical because the hurt is so deep,” she said.

While detectives continue their investigation into Harrison’s murder, police are also busy dealing with the violent crime that plagues the city almost every day. In the last month, many of the suspects accused of those crimes have been under the age of 18.

“That’s very scary, but again it starts in the home, and it starts where parents have to ensure that their children are happy, that they are growing up well-adjusted and feeling good about themselves,” said Judy Weldon, Cleveland School Remembers.

The group’s name refers to the 1989 Cleveland Elementary School shooting in Stockton where five children were killed, and 32 others were wounded.

Community leaders say guns have become fairly easy for young people to obtain. They believe teens get weapons from either stealing them or from their friends who may be selling them. Some are even getting them from home.

“When you have somebody who, actually has seen somebody, they are ambulating some behavior right, so there has to be an adult in this, in these situations whether it’s in the community or at home. It’s something that we as a community need to address,” said Samuel Nunez with Fathers and Families of San Joaquin County.

A group of local teachers who formed an organization focused on preventing gun violence says the first step in reducing violent crime starts with education, at home.

“If there is a gun in your house, you need to remember that is your responsibility as a gun owner to lock up that firearm, so your child doesn’t get it. Lock it up in a way that they don’t know where the key is, and they don’t know the combination,” said Schardt.

Comments (7)
  1. Wait a sec – even in strict gun control California, the fellas are still getting guns illegally to commit their violent crimes? The hell you say.

  2. I know little of the culture of America, but I do know that where you have a country that allegedly has more guns than people and a criminal element in society, it is a recipe for disaster. The obvious answer is to get rid of the guns and the easy availability of guns but with the strong gun lobby in America I fear this may take a considerable number of years. However there was once a time in the UK when drunken driving and smoking in public places was considered the norm and now things have changed and both of them are illegal. Public opinion tends to be the thing that drives change, I know the right to bear arms is deeply ingrained in the culture of America but from an outsiders point of view we find it hard to imagine why the majority of the population would be in favour of carrying guns when there are so many tragic incidents involving them.

    1. Mark Farris says:

      That wont work otherwise it would be working in CA which has the strictest gun laws and citizens can only buy older model handguns that once are out of production would be gone from purchase forever. What I do know is gun crime and even knife crime is sky rocketing in London despite all its “superior laws and culture” and that mostly because Europe has mostly be insular, till recently, in not having “diversity” like the US has always had which leads to other conflicts also know as more killings and crime. While there are some nice perks to being homogenous like Japan being 100% Japanese and crime is far lower I have no issue with diversity per say unless a lot of these diverse people start telling me how to live and wanting to take my weapons to maybe stop killing each other which is a total No Go and why I long since left the state of CA.

      1. Just two small points, unless I’m much mistaken a second hand gun can kill you just the same as a brand new one, the only time you stop someone being shot and killed is when you have no guns. On the other point the UK is an extremely diverse and multicultural country, where compared to America, gun crime is extremely rare.

  3. Mark Farris says:

    London’s Met reported 2,544 gun crime offenses from April 2016 to April 2017 compared to 1,793 offenses from 2015 until 2016 a 42% Increase along with a 24% rise in knife crime. If there was ever a place gun control would work it would be the UK especially since its a island and there are no manufactures of semiautomatic weapons there anymore. The fact that violent crime is still rising despite the onerous restrictions and that the US has largely open borders that cant even keep drugs out having any form of defense is a good deterrent for the populous against any criminal that take or make weapons for criminal enterprises.

  4. Rick Kridler says:

    “In the state of California, you have to be at least 18 years old to buy a rifle or a shotgun and 21 to purchase a handgun.” This is a federal law that has been in place since 1968. Before 68 there were no age restrictions. It is also illegal to buy a handgun in any state except the one you live in. Somehow we managed to have low crime in the 50’s and early 60’s despite that.

  5. Here’s an idea that could reduce gun violence, domestic violence, and punching incidents. The United Nations’ World Health Organization says every year billions of dollars are being spent on injuries related to punching incidents. Punching incidents often escalate in to using more deadly weapons – guns, knives, etc. Reduce punching incidents and it should reduce gun violence. One Punch Homicide was made to reduce punching incidents, it’s getting great reviews, and it can be seen free online. ShelterMe – its actual spelling – Nebraska, a domestic violence shelter, wrote “I encourage you to show it to your kids.” on its facebook page about it.