Every illegal gun Grand Rapids police get off the street means there is one less weapon to kill, hurt or threaten someone.

And in just the 6 months since they started a “One More Gun Off the Streets” campaign, GRPD says they have confiscated 40 illegal guns and taken them out of circulation.

“We would like to think we are saving lives,” says Grand Rapids police Sergeant Terry Dixon.

Police say they find the weapons during traffic stops, drug raids and tossed to the ground by suspects trying to outrun officers. They are almost always loaded and ready to fire.

“Some of them are stolen from law abiding citizens and then they are utilized on the street for the commission of other crimes,” says Sgt. Dixon.

West Grand Neighborhood Association crime prevention organizer Chi Benedict says getting all of those guns off the streets is good news, but also alarming.

“I am encouraged that they have recovered them,” she says. “It can be a little scary, though, that they have recovered that many. It is kind of disturbing there are that many on the street.”

If the gun was reported stolen and they can trace it police say they return the weapon to its owner. But in many cases they say the serial number is filed away and unreadable. Those guns are sent to Lansing where they are melted down into scrap.

“We are recovering them all over the city,” says Sgt. Dixon. “It is not really confined to any particular area.”