Illegal, stolen guns an alarming problem in Memphis

Illegal and stolen guns a major problem in Memphis

The number of guns taken off local streets in 2016 could reach last year’s total of nearly 4,200, according to Memphis police.

Illegal weapons contributed to some of this year’s 101 murders and put the lives of officers in danger seemingly every day. Many of those weapons are stolen from cars, and MPD Director Mike Rallings said it is the result of a state law that allows gun owners to keep weapons in a vehicle.

“I want to sit down and have a conversation with them, with our other law enforcement partners, and talk about that,” Rallings told FOX13. “So yes, I want a change because I am not in support of guns in cars.”

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Some of the 1,100 weapons confiscated so far this year are dangerous assault rifles and other high-powered weapons.

"Any gun used illegally is a gun that is on our radar,” Rallings said of assault rifles. “We just don’t focus on a particular type of gun, but guns that are used illegally are the ones we focus on."

During the 20 minute news conference, Rallings stressed the importance of responsible gun ownership in a state that embraces the Second Amendment.

"I never see a run on gun safes when I go to the sporting goods store. They are always there, so people may run to buy guns but they don't run to make sure they properly secure their guns from keep them out of the hands of kids and criminals,” Rallings said.