In the six months since Grand Rapids police launched its #OneMoreGunOfftheStreets campaign, officers have seized about 40 weapons and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.
“Most of them have come from traffic stops,’’ Grand Rapids Police Sgt. Terry Dixon said. “We’re seeing guns of all types, all models. Nine times out of 10, they’re usually loaded.’’
The collection of illegal weapons includes .40-caliber handguns, 9mm handguns and a handful of rifles and shotguns. Three guns seized in late February came from a search warrant for illegal drugs.
Since the public awareness campaign began on Sept. 30, police have issued nearly three dozen news releases through social media about the seizures.
Posts to the department’s Facebook page are often peppered with ‘likes.’
“In a nutshell, the public campaign has been well received, for the most part,’’ Dixon said. “The awareness level has increased. There’s lots of comments via Facebook regarding approval of GRPD’s work in this arena.’’
The effort is modelled after programs used by other police departments across the country, he said.
“We decided to try it, just to let the public know that we are recovering guns,’’ Dixon said. “So this has been a part of a public awareness campaign to provide more transparency into what we’re finding, what we’re recovering on the streets of Grand Rapids.’’
Many of the guns being seized are stolen; it’s not uncommon to find weapons with the serial number obliterated, Dixon said. Some are bought off the streets.
“There’s a market for them,’’ Dixon said. “Where there’s a market, where there’s demand, there’s usually a supply.’’
Those caught with an illegally-possessed handgun can be prosecuted for carrying a concealed weapon, a five-year felony.
►Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the WZZM 13 app now.