BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The rate of gun deaths in the U.S. has increased for the second year in a row.
The report from the CDC found more than 38,000 people were killed by guns in 2016. The numbers are preliminary as state by state data becomes available.
The data followed an exceptionally violent week in Jefferson County, which prompted Birmingham's Mayor-Elect, Randall Woodfin, to observe the city faces an "epidemic" of gun violence.
Bessemer District Attorney Lynneice Washington agreed gun violence has become a major problem.
"We have seen a surge of gun violence in the communities," Washington. "We have tried to take a more proactive approach to target those people who have the guns, who sell the guns illegally."
Washington said her office has partnered with federal prosecutors to add prison time to those who commit gun crimes.