Hundreds of Crime Guns Seized in Summer Crackdown

By on August 18, 2022 0 295Views

A little more than one month after the launch of “Operation Gun Crime Crackdown,” hundreds of crime guns have been taken off the streets and out of the hands of criminals.

The multi-agency, multi-faceted operation kicked off July 5, and focuses on reducing the number of violent gun crimes plaguing our city. Enforcement is aimed at taking guns away from those who are not supposed to have them while protecting the rights of law-abiding citizens.

“Guns are getting into the wrong hands leaving children without parents, families devastated and communities living in fear. We must do something to protect our children, our community’s officers, from gun violence,” said Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams at a news conference announcing the operation.

Phoenix police have seized 711 guns from July 5 to August 15, including more than a dozen guns with a “conversion device” on them. A conversion device is an illegal part added to a gun to make it fully automatic. Police also seized a flare gun that was modified to shoot a 9mm round.

During that same time period, Phoenix police also made 526 arrests associated with gun crimes.

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego said these are the kind of results she is looking for. “When we can take guns off the streets and out of the hands of people who should not have them, we’re improving safety throughout the city.” The Mayor added, “It shows how much we can accomplish when agencies collaborate on a common goal. I’m very grateful for our partnership with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and the Maricopa County Attorney.”

The collaborative effort of local, state and federal agencies involved in this operation lead to the arrest of several individuals involved in multiple violent crimes, including several homicides which remain under investigation. Information on those will be released later, to preserve the integrity of the ongoing investigations.

“The results of this targeted effort are a great example of how working with our law enforcement partners can enhance the great work the men and women of the Phoenix Police Department do every day,” said Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams.

Having agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives embedded with Phoenix detectives assigned to “Operation Gun Crime Crackdown” has shortened the turn-around time of analyzing evidence from shooting scenes.

As part of the operation, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office geographically assigned supervisors to coordinate directly with police precinct personnel. MCAO liaisons have worked with Phoenix police to review gun cases to secure appropriate release conditions for those arrested.

“I commend the brave Phoenix Police Officers who go out every day and face dangerous and sometimes deadly scenarios involving those who commit crimes with a gun. Those who illegally possess guns seek to disrupt the safety of our community and my office is committed to holding them accountable. I support the lawful ownership of firearms and this partnership is about prosecuting those who seek to break the law and do harm in our community,” said Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell.

There is also a tip line for community members to call or email with any information they may have on someone they know who is illegally in possession of a firearm. This enforcement is not about taking guns away from law abiding citizens. It’s about getting guns out of the hands of criminals and those who are not supposed to have them.

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