Despite an increased emphasis on seizing illegal firearms, Baltimore police have taken about 25 percent fewer guns off the street this year and are making fewer gun arrests, reports the city’s Sun. Law enforceers could not account for the decline, which has police on pace to recover far fewer illegal guns than in previous years, but were in agreement that it’s probably not because there are significantly fewer guns on the streets. Instead, they said it is more likely that criminals are getting the message not to carry guns in public, which could be a factor in this year’s drops in homicides and nonfatal shootings.
Police had recovered about 2,750 guns at this point last year, even though the push to crack down on illegal guns did not begin in earnest until late May, after Dixon unveiled a new crime-fighting strategy. With the philosophy in place for over a year, police have seized 2,104 guns this year. If that pace holds up, police will have recovered the smallest number of guns since 2004. According to department statistics, police have seized an average of 3,425 illegal firearms annually over the past seven years, before gun seizures were made a priority.