ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) – Police department representatives from Salem, Vinton, Roanoke, and Roanoke County held a press conference to remind people to safely store their firearms.
Several police chiefs warned of the dangers of not securing firearms. The message comes just ahead of National Night Out, an annual event that promotes community-police partnerships. This year’s theme centers on gun safety.
The law enforcement officers urged residents to remove ammunition when the firearm is not in use, secure the gun in a safe, and lock the guns with a gunlock. For those interested, gunlocks will be available at this evening’s National Night Out events.
“We continue to see guns in the hands of people who should not have them,” said Salem Chief of Police, Mike Crawley. “A lot of these things can be reduced by securing them,” he said.
Roanoke County has seen a string of vehicle larcenies off the Peters Creek Road area. Chief of Police Howard Hall says several firearms were stolen from these cars. He also stressed the importance of securing firearms and never leaving them in a car.
Roanoke Chief of Police Tim Jones says that his department recently recovered a gun that was stolen in Texas in 1997. It was retrieved from a minor in Roanoke. He says about half of the firearms the department has recovered from individuals have been stolen.
Collectively, the departments are warning individuals to securely store all firearms so that they do not fall into the hands of the wrong person.