Boston has created a specialized unit with the sole mission of stemming the flow of illegal firearms that have been used to shoot more than 250 people this year, the Boston Herald reports. The Firearms Investigation Center will combine forces of Boston Police Department detectives, federal Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents, and state police investigators. “We need to get more guns, and gun criminals, off the streets,” said Mayor Thomas Menino.
Investigators will focus on debriefing anyone caught carrying an illegal firearm, tracing the history of recovered weapons, and building cases against arms dealers, said police superintendent Paul Joyce. Of 262 Bostonians hit by gunfire from Jan. 1 to Oct. 12, 33 died. Police have made a historically high number of firearms arrests in 2005, busting 632 armed suspects and recovering 727 guns.