NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Police in Newport News say that they seized 661 firearms in 2017, across every division of its department.
“In Newport News, we take weapons offenses very seriously and our officers aggressively enforce all Virginia gun laws,” said Acting Chief of Police, Michael Grinstead.
NNPD says that many of the guns confiscated in the city are from persons who were convicted of a prior felony, where federal law prohibits possessing a firearm. Or, the weapon was concealed and the carrier did not have a license to conceal.
Virginia is an open-carry state, meaning that if you buy a gun, unless you have a concealed weapons permit, the gun must be visible.
Guns are also not required to be registered in Virginia. But federal paperwork is completed documenting the transaction of a legally purchased gun that is bought from a dealer.
“An effective gun violence reduction program, including the removal of illegal weapons is an ongoing process that involves many moving parts. The mechanisms, means and targeted populations can vary based on area demographics. At the NNPD, improvements and advancements in the process are made daily,” said Grinstead. In 2017, the NNPD seized 661 illegal guns, up from 2016 when 603 were seized. “This success is due to the efforts of the NNPD including the Violent Crimes Reduction Task Force as well as other coordinated efforts with local, state and federal agencies,” added Grinstead.
The legal age to carry a gun in Virginia is 18-years-old, and NNPD says that some of the guns they confiscated came from teens.
In 2017, annual shootings and homicides in Newport News declined.