GRPD push to get illegal guns off the streets

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - More than 40 illegal guns have been taken off the streets thanks to the 'One More Gun Off The Streets' campaign.

The initiative began in late September 2016 with GRPD posting pictures of illegal guns recovered by police.

Sgt. Terry Dixon, the Public Information Officer for Grand Rapids Police, says they've been processing illegal guns since day one, saying they're one of the first cities in the state to make it public knowledge as to the number of stolen, unlicensed and illegal guns being recovered by local law enforcement in the city.

"We've had 35 different recoveries that we've reported on that has netted more than 40 firearms on the street," Sgt. Terry Dixon said. "One of the benefits of this program is to be able to solve past crimes. You never know, one weapon may be the crucial part that could crack a case easily."

Daryl Clemens, a Crime Scene Technician with the department for more than 20 years, says each gun that's taken off the street undergoes some form of forensic testing just in case the weapons open criminal cases.

The method used to process for fingerprints is called Super Glue Fuming. The items are placed in a sealed tank, and the superglue is then heated which gives off fumes that adhere to the fingerprints.

"Most of these people we recover the guns from, they didn’t go to the store and buy it," Clemens said. "They bought it off the street or they stole it or got it from somebody else. So the more fingerprints we can get, the wider net we can throw out there."

The weapons then go to the Michigan State Police crime lab where they undergo ballistic and other forms of testing. If the guns are not identified as a match in an open case, the guns are then melted down and destroyed.

"We have a lot of officers out there trying to find those weapons and get them off the street," Clemens said. "So the more weapons we get off the street the better."

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