NORFOLK, Va. - Norfolk Chief of Police Larry Boone discussed the impact of illegal guns in the community during a 1 p.m. press conference on Friday.
Boone was joined by Charlie Patterson, the special agent in charge of the Washington Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
The Norfolk Police Department told News 3 that over the past year, the department has focused on certain "hot spot" neighborhoods to recover stolen guns. According to police, in 2020, Norfolk had the highest number of guns recovered out of all cities in Hampton Roads.
Boone spoke about how the neighborhoods where the guns were recovered have been mired in poverty and marginalized for many years.
"They have the same commonalities: Wnderemployment, undereducation, health issues, conflict resolution issues, lack of opportunities - same thing I have said for years," said Boone.
Some of the statistics given out at the press conference were eye-opening. In 2021, 821 guns were recovered, and 116 of those were from felons. Boone says it often starts with women buying guns for their boyfriends who are gang members.
Chief Boone said, "If we want immediate impact, we have to stop the flow of illegal guns."
From 2017-2021, 3,885 firearms have been recovered, 926 were recovered from felons and 317 firearms were reported stolen.
Also, from the data Boone presented, African Americans represent the highest number of homicides. From 1989 to 2021, there were 1,109 homicides - 952 were African Americans.
"We we are aware Black and brown communities are critically impacted by gun violence and are committed to doing something about it," said Boone
He also revealed how the department will partner with numerous agencies to stop gun violence and sales of illegal guns, as well as protect youth from gun violence.
As far as solutions, Boone says it starts with you - being bold and speaking up if you see something.
But, Norfolk Police say they are preparing to partner with mentor groups and grassroots organizations to continue to stop the flow of illegal guns.
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