The ever increasing popularity of the internet and multifunctional “smart” phones has allowed teenagers to party in a whole new way. Huge parties are popular with teens in the Hampton Roads, Virginia Beach, Norfolk and Chesapeake areas, parties where invitations are sent out using text messaging and online tools like MySpace.
While this may be exciting for teens, these often out of control gatherings are causing problems for law enforcement officers. Parties sometime draw teens from competing schools and rival gangs, and animosity and alcohol combined with teenage hormones and readily available firearms often lead to serious injury and even death.
While law enforcement officers in the Virginia Beach and surrounding areas are concerned about these gatherings, there is little they can do until laws are broken. Some of the ways that partygoers and hosts can break laws include:
- Serving alcohol to minors
- Charging admission without a permit or in a residential neighborhood
- Violating curfew
However, these laws have proven difficult to enforce, which has had the effect of allowing teen parties to grow out of control, often leading to violence.
Gun violence has erupted at a number of different parties, often the result of rival gang activity. Guns are surprisingly easy for teens to get their hands on, either purchased for as little as $50 or shared among gang members who stash the guns in covert locations.
Many guns find their way to the underground teen market after being stolen from homes in nearby counties. According to Virginia State Police, stolen guns are brisk business, with state residents being robbed of over $3 million worth of guns last year alone. And once stolen, guns typically stay stolen; only about 16 percent were recovered last year.
According to agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the guns most popular with teens who commit crimes are the Hi-Point 9 mm, Ruger 9 mm, Smith & Wesson .40-caliber, and the Hi-Point 380 ACP.
Unfortunately, because teens know the gun laws and know how to keep their firearms hidden until they use them, law enforcement officials have not had a great deal of success in cracking down on violence on the streets, at schools or at any of the many huge parties taking place every week in eastern Virginia.
If you or someone you care about has been charged with a crime or otherwise involved in a violent crime, then it is in your best interest to find legal representation as soon as possible. Please contact the Norfolk based attorneys at Tavss Fletcher today, and let our experienced attorneys protect your rights and your future.
555 East Main Street, 14th Floor
Norfolk, VA 23510
Telephone: (757) 625-1214
Facsimile: (757) 622-7295