(KRON) — A new study from Santa Clara County Department of Public Health says that the cost of gun violence across the county was more than a billion dollars annually from 2016-2020, and the county says that number is growing.

In May of this year, the SCC Board of Supervisors approved a preliminary report from the DPH which was expected to outline the public cost of gun violence. The study determined that the overall cost of gun violence in Santa Clara County adds up to around $1.2 billion each year. A fraction of that, $72.5 million annually, is what comes out of the county’s budget to handle firearm incidents. The study took into consideration the cost of firearm incidents to the county from police, emergency services, medical and mental health, and criminal justice.

The study says that over a 14-year period beginning in 2006, costs associated with gun violence grew by nearly $35 million annually. Though hospitals may be seeing fewer gun deaths, emergency room visits due to gun injuries “more than doubled during the past decade,” according to the study.

City Supervisor Cindy Chavez says that this work on the gun violence cost study is important, though challenging.

“There aren’t a lot of roadmaps at a local level to do this kind of research,” she said at a press conference.

Marissa McKeown, the Deputy District Attorney for the Crime Strategies Unit said that even the threat of gun violence has a cost.

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“Not only is it a big deal to threaten to shoot someone, but in California that is a crime, it is a felony and we will prosecute these individuals,” said Deputy DA McKeown. “But not only that, we’re lucky to work in a state where Gun Violence Restraining Order laws allow us to make this person prohibited from having a gun,” she said.

The public sector’s criminal justice system carries the most direct costs. According to the study, $25.5 million of the county’s costs were attributed to jail, another $24.7 million went to probation/parole and $15 million was labeled as related to policing work.

Deputy DA McKeown went on to warn those who are prohibited from carrying firearms, saying that SCC will not tolerate prohibited individuals accessing guns. “We are all committed to stopping the next shooting because we’ve had too much cost. Not just economic but also emotional and social costs in this county,” McKeown said.

SCC health officer and director of the Santa Clara County Public Health Department, Dr. Sara Cody, said that the costs of gun violence grow even higher when considering the indirect or even intangible costs, including loss of life and the suffering that comes along with that. For more information, or to read the full study, please visit the SCC Board of Supervisors website.