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Law Enforcement & Juvenile Crime
Age-specific Arrest Rate Trends
Q: What is the trend for age-specific arrest rates for weapons law violations?
A: Weapons law violation arrest rates were higher in 2011 than in 1980 for juveniles ages 10 to 14, while rates for persons ages 15 to 14 in 2011 were below the rates in 1980.

Weapons law violation arrests per 100,000 population, 1980, 1994, 2011

Age 1980 1994 2011

10 to 12 11.4 37.1 21.5
13 to 14 63.6 202.6 74.2
Age 15 125.1 328.3 120.2
Age 16 159.1 411.3 146.2
Age 17 199.8 447.6 176.4
Age 18 227.9 500.7 201.8
Age 19 212.2 417.6 189.5
Age 20 201.2 352.9 171.7
Age 21 205.9 354.5 164.9
Age 22 195.2 310.6 155.9
Age 23 182.5 266.5 142.7
Age 24 175.1 238.0 136.8
25 to 29 140.9 172.3 108.0
30 to 34 102.0 117.8 76.5
35 to 39 82.3 84.9 50.4
40 to 44 64.5 60.6 37.1
45 to 49 48.2 42.0 30.0
50 to 54 34.1 30.7 22.5
55 to 59 23.1 19.8 13.5
60 to 64 15.4 13.0 8.5

[ Graph version ]  [ Excel file ]

  • The peak year for juvenile weapons law violation arrest rates was 1994. Between 1980 and 1994, arrest rates for youth ages 15-17 increased an average of 148%. The rates increased considerably less for adults in their thirties. More specifically, the rates increased 15% for adults ages 30-34 and just 3% for those ages 35-39.
  • Between 1994 and 2011, weapons law violation arrest rates declined for all age groups, but the declines were somewhat greater for juveniles than for adults. More specifically, the rates dropped 63% for youth ages 15-17, compared with 51% for adults ages 18-24, 37% for those ages 25-29, and 38% for those ages 30-39.
  • Overall, the weapons law violation arrest rates for youth ages 15-17 in 2011 was 8% below the level in 1980. However, rates for adults declined more than the rates for juveniles between 1980 and 2011. Specifically, the rates fell 17% for adults ages 18-24, 23% for adults ages 25-29, 25% for those ages 30-34, 39% for those ages 35-39, and 42% for those ages 40-44.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: http://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/crime/qa05307.asp?qaDate=2011. Released on February 25, 2014.

Data Source: Arrest estimates developed by the Bureau of Justice Statistics and disseminated through “Arrest Data Analysis Tool.” Online. Available from the BJS website.

 

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