Taking illegal weapons off the street is one of the major ways that the NOPD can prevent gun violence from happening. That’s why officers worked so aggressively to track down and confiscate illegal weapons in 2016. In fact, the department collects an average of 30 guns every week.
Watch Video: Types Of Guns Taken Off The Street In 2016
In all, the NOPD confiscated a total of 1,505 guns, including 1,385 handguns, 25 shotguns and 95 rifles. A total of 1,151 guns were shown to be linked to a crime.
When officers seize a gun on a scene or on a person, those guns are immediately sent to the NOPD’s Central Evidence and Property facility where each gun undergoes ballistic testing. After testing, officers at the facility are able to categorize each gun as either evidence or property. If a gun was involved in a crime, it’s viewed as evidence in court. If it’s legally owned, it’s considered property and released to its rightful owner.
Firearms Control Officer Earl Johnson said handguns are the most popular guns used in crimes and recovered by officers. Johnson said that’s because it’s the easiest to conceal. It’s also the number one gun officers are searching for when responding to violent crime.
“We do average a lot of guns a week and it’s only because our police department is very aggressive about going out on the streets and removing these weapons from the bad guys,” said Johnson. “The more we do it, the more illegal guns we’re going to bring in.”