GREENFIELD, Wis. — When it comes to guns used in crimes in the Milwaukee-area, those guns might be used for illegal purposes, but that does not always mean they were stolen.
“We are a medium to small size agency, but last year there were 52 firearms collected as evidence. We are still taking guns off the street, we are still arresting people for various gun related charges,” said Sgt. Matt Borchardt, Greenfield Police Department.
The Greenfield Police Department says they are on pace to beat the 52 guns they collected last year. So far, they have collected 32 guns as evidence this year.
“The majority of the guns we are collecting, we collected because they were either used in a crime or somebody was carrying them illegally,” said Borchardt.
Comparing Greenfield to Milwaukee, the Brew City has collected 2,918 guns from January to May 15 of this year.
Are the guns being taken off the street in the Milwaukee area stolen? Not necessarily, according to police leaders. But neither Milwaukee or Greenfield Police say they have readily available data that tracks that.
However, looking at national statistics an FBI survey found, of people who used guns in their crimes, 90 percent did not get it from a retailer.
The Department of Justice found about 40 percent of guns used in crimes were straw purchased. This means someone legally bought it from a retailer or dealer and gave it to someone who legally cannot own a gun. Greenfield police say no matter how someone got a gun, if it is illegal for them to possess it or not, they are a danger to all of us.
"Gun violence concerns all of us," said Borchardt. “It needs to be priority to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and to keep criminally from illegally carrying guns.”
Greenfield police say the majority of the guns they have collected as evidence come from traffic stops.