(KERO) — According to a new study, rates of gun violence were 30% higher in the U.S. during the pandemic than a year earlier.
The study was published Thursday in the journal Scientific Reports. It examined national gun violence rates over a 13-month pandemic period, compared with the same period the previous year.
In Kern County homicides rose last year with a record number of killings in 2020.
There were 135 homicides last year according to 23ABC's homicide tracker, although we don't currently have the data on how many were shootings.
In 2020, there was a 30% increase in homicides compared to the year before and this year Kern County is on track to surpass the record set in 2020.
According to 23ABC's count there have been 118 homicides in the county with 89 of those killings were due to shootings.
Scientific Reports researchers found that 28 states had significantly higher risk of gun violence.
Just one state, Alaska, was found to have significantly lower risk during the pandemic.
The authors of the study suggested that multiple factors may have influenced the increase in the risk of gun violence.
Those factors included increased psychological stress from COVID or an increase in firearm purchases.