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Columbia PD reports 48 illegally possessed guns seized since New Year

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Published: Jan. 25, 2022 at 7:06 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 26, 2022 at 11:03 AM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The Columbia Police Department, eyeing the reduction of gun violence in the city, released new data on Tuesday showing officers have seized 48 guns so far in 2022.

The department sent an email reading:

The new data comes after Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott sounded the alarm about guns being stolen from cars.

The sheriff’s office reported 12 stolen guns over the course of the weekend.

The CPD also added 11 photos of the guns seized to its running gallery on its website.

RELATED STORY | CPD has seized guns 451 times in the last 14 months, here’s where

Officers “confiscated the firearms from persons who were not legally allowed to possess a gun and/or during the commission of a violent crime, or traffic stops. "

Both agencies partner with Building Better Communities, a non-profit with the goal of curbing gun violence.

Executive Director Perry Bradley said it remains an issue of resources.

“Do you really think someone chooses, who has resources, to go out and break the law? Why would you do that? So if you have the proper resources, that takes away your urge to go out and just steal guns for money and things like that,” he said.

“At the end of the day what doing, is they’re just trying to compensate for something that’s missing. Whatever resources that they don’t have, they get it in the streets.”

Bradley said his organization is attempting to take on the issue on multiple fronts, including providing resources, educating the community about gun safety, and building networks.

Bradley said connecting the community with jobs is another part of the solution. He said the income helps eliminate the need to steal and sell the guns.

“Leaving guns in your cars, that’s easy money. People don’t realize how much a gun goes for on the streets. They can take a gun out of a car, and they can make about $400, $500 just selling that one gun.”

He echoed the call to keep guns out of cars.

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