La Crosse County’s district attorney agrees with city police that local gun crimes seem to be increasing.
Even though Tim Gruenke has noticed a spike in gun-related offenses, however, he can’t say why it’s happening.
“I don’t see a pattern that I can point to that would expalin the increase,” Gruenke said. “But, there is an increase in the number of people that have guns and the number of crimes that have guns involved in them.”
Gruenke does dispute the argument made by police that criminals using guns are getting lenient treatment in court.
He says the presence of a gun tends to make a crime more serious, which could lead to increased bonds.
“A gun related crime could be a shooting, which is very serious to somebody that’s a felon, but they had a gun when they were hunting a month ago,” Gruenke said.
Police report a 76 percent increase in felons being arrested with guns in La Crosse over a four-year period.