AUGUSTA, GEORGIA – The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office is 5 days into its new gun initiative to get 500 illegal weapons off the streets in 100 days.
‘Suns Out Guns Out of The Wrong Hands’ was just launched on Friday, but a spokesperson for the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office tells WJBF News Channel 6 they started off very strong in the first weekend of the initiative and have already made 10 arrests.
The alarming number of recent gun violence cases in Augusta is what initially kicked off ‘Suns Out Guns Out of The Wrong Hands’. The program is the first of its kind in Augusta and with a goal of removing 500 illegal weapons, as of Monday the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office has 485 more to go.
“Is 15 a good number so far you think?” News Channel 6’s Stefany Bornman asked.
“Well so far because we’re not just counting found guns. We’re counting guns that we can attribute to someone who was used in a crime or was illegally possessed. That’s 15 guns. That’s not just found. We’re doing good.” Richmond County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Allan Rollins told WJBF News Channel 6.
At the end of the 100 day program stolen guns, not involved in any crimes, will be returned to their owners. By law the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office cannot destroy the rest of guns, so weapons that are cleared will be sold to licensed gun dealers. Those profits will be used for anything law enforcement officers need to better serve the community.
“The money will go back into the coffers and the last time we sold guns, that allowed us to go out buy the new body worn cameras that all the officers are wearing.” Rollins said.
So how do you get involved in the’Suns Out Guns Out of The Wrong Hands’? Well just call the 24 hour tip line at 1-866-939-5050 and if your tip leads to an arrest you get a $200 reward.
Lieutenant Rollins says not all of the 15 weapons collected have come from citizen tips, but people should still call if they have valid information.
“We’re not going to slack off. We’re not going to relax, we’re going to follow through on this program,” said Rollins.
‘Suns Out Guns Out of The Wrong Hands’ will continue until August 12, 2016.
Richmond County Sheriff’s Office 24 hour tip line: 1-866-939-5050.