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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington Police say they have taken a large number of guns off the streets in the first two weeks of this month. Officers confiscated many of the guns from convicted felons.

In the first two weeks of July, police seized 29 firearms, including handguns, shotguns and assault rifles. Chief Ralph Evangelous says this record number of seizures is the result of more officers in the field.

“Many of these involved foot pursuits of our officers, where these people were armed with the handguns in their hands,” Evangelous said.

Although police do not believe overall there are more guns on the street, they say the guns that are out there are being used more often than before.

“A lot more brazen activity out there on the street with individuals not only displaying these firearms, but also shooting,” Evangelous said. “We’ve had a lot of shots fired calls lately.”

Evangelous says many of these criminals are already felons. He says the guns they’re using may have been stolen.

Police say they hope to find leads in open cases using guns confiscated from this search.

Police say they will conduct tests to see if any of the confiscated guns have been used in crimes, like the murder of a teenager last month on N. 5th St.

Comment on this Story

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    If they’re felons, let the feds put them away for a five year minimum. I don’t understand how any chief of police could oppose it.

  • guesty

    I wish they would sell them to the non-criminal public if the rightful owner can not be found. Only sell to current holders of ccw permits with proper ID. I’m sure there is some junk in there but just maybe something worth having at a reasonable price. The problem would be if one found its way into a criminals hands and was used in a crime. How long until the victim tried to sue the department?

  • PCSmom

    I hope they will check to see if these are any of the guns stolen from a rash of breakins in Pender/Sampson/Duplin Co. where they kick in the front doors and only take guns by the NTG’s in Salemburg.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    …(or whatever they use now)it will normally be returned to the rightful owner after it fulfills any evidentiary value.

    The problem is that unless they were just stolen recently, they’re usually a rusted, scraped, and scuffed up piece of junk by the time they are returned. The bad guys rarely care for them, the recovering officer marks the weapon permanently, then they sit around uncared for in an evidence locker for months or years.

    I saw a recovered first generation Colt Peacemaker that at one time looked like it had rolled out of the factory the week prior and was worth about $3000. (And this was thirty years ago!) When it was returned to the owner it had bad surface rust, someone had converted the 7 1/2 inch barrel into a snubnose (with no front sight), carved his name into the grip, and the left side of the receiver had the arresting officer’s initials and the date scratched into the steel.

    It was basically worthless.

    That’s one of the reasons I’m a big believer in gun safes. If it’s not on my hip and I’m not home, it’s locked in the safe.

  • Guest12

    I approached them about selling them to CCW permit holders and was told that they are going to destroy the guns.

    I thought it would be a good revenue source for the Police Dept.

    Chief of Police was on one of the TV Stations about a year ago and I posed this question to him.

    Their response was they taken them away from criminals and don’t want them to end up back in the hand of criminals.

  • sailboat2323

    If you are approved for a gun permit then how in the Chiefs eyes does he figure they are going to get them back in the hands of criminals? If someone breaks into your house what’s the differenc if they steal one of them or one you bought somewhere else. Does sound like a good way to raise revenue for the dept. Sounds like his real agenda is to disarm the public in a round about way. Probably a gun nazi. What’s up with him wearing 5 stars on his uniform is he a frustrated wannabe general, he’s a friggin cop for God’s sake. Do the cops get to buy or keep any of these weapons, just wondering.


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