Citing the city’s high crime rate, members of the Metro Nashville Office of Alternative Policing Strategies this week announced a new gun retrieval program.
The Tennessee Star on Thursday contacted Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) spokesman Steven Bowers. We asked what measures Metro officials enacted to ensure that criminals don’t use this program to get rid of guns that could link them to various crimes?
“When those guns are turned in, the police still do checks on those weapons or trace them to see if they are connected to another crime. They are also checked to see if they are stolen,” Bowers said.
“As far as someone dropping a weapon off, we take into consideration that that weapon is turned in, and it cannot be used in future violent crimes.”
The Star also asked Bowers about MNPD officials’ plans for those guns long-term.
“They have retention periods on how long they keep different types of property, but sometimes depending on how long they keep them I know that, eventually, the property gets destroyed,” Bowers said.
“But if that gun has been used in a crime, then that gun may be kept for evidence purposes for that particular case.”
MNPD officials said in a statement that criminals in Davidson County stole more than 1,300 guns from vehicles last year. So far this year, more than 70 percent of all guns reported stolen were taken from vehicles. Criminals use a large portion of those stolen weapons to commit more violent crimes.
“Participating churches will now offer a no-questions-asked process where community members can anonymously turn in firearms,” according to the MNPD statement.
In a new study conducted by WalletHub, the city of Nashville ranked fourth overall in having the highest crime rates per 1,000 residents among state capitals in the country.
According to the study’s findings, Little Rock, Arkansas, ranked the highest for crime while Concord, New Hampshire, was the lowest. Following Little Rock is Salt Lake City, Utah; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Nashville; and then Charleston, West Virginia.
Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star and The Georgia Star News. Follow Chris on Facebook, Twitter, Parler, and GETTR. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Guns” by Neon Tommy. CC BY-SA 2.0.