CHICAGO (CBS) — The fight to get illegal guns off the streets of Chicago hit a milestone this week, as police announced they have seized more than 100 high-powered assault-style rifles so far this year.
With temperatures heating up, and violence expected to rise with more people out on the streets during the upcoming summer months, Chicago police detailed their efforts to seize illegal firearms.
Chicago police officers work every day with federal authorities to track illegal guns, and the people selling them. So far this year, police have recovered 106 assault-style rifles, and officials said that number is up compared to this time last year, when police had seized 79 through early May.
Police Supt. Eddie Johnson spoke about the department’s progress Thursday morning at a press conference at Police Headquarters. He said the department is recovering more high-powered firearms because there are more of them on the streets.
Investigators recovered some of those illegal guns through search warrants and traffic stops.
The superintendent credited officers with the department’s Gun Crime Strike Force, formed last year in conjunction with the ATF and federal prosecutors an effort to go after illegal guns and repeat gun offenders.
Johnson also said the department is seeing greater community involvement, and he hopes a gun buyback event next month will help get more illegal guns off the streets.
“I’ve said time and time again that making Chicago safer from gun violence cannot be left to the Police Department alone. This is an all hands on deck situation. We need everyone to lend a hand, including lawmakers who have a real opportunity to help us hold gun offenders accountable,” Johnson said.
The gun buyback event will take place on June 2 at New Life Covenant Church. The department will give away $100 for every firearm turned in.