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Ky. law enforcement officials working on reducing gun violence

Published: Oct. 16, 2020 at 12:13 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Law enforcement officials say shootings have increased in Lexington. They’re trying to reduce those numbers by getting firearms out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them.

“Shootings have increased this year and that is completely unacceptable,” said Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Special Agent Shawn Morrow.

To accomplish this officials are focused on getting guns out the hands of people who should not have them.

“Which include being a convicted felon, an illegal alien, an unlawful user of a controlled substance,” U.S. Attorney Robert Duncan said.

Duncan, U.S Attorney of the Eastern District of Kentucky, said this year his office has prosecuted 184 people who were charged with gun violence and/or firearms related crimes.

“This represents a 38 percent increase in the number of defendants based on a four-year average,” Duncan said.

Duncan said his office could not have prosecuted the number of cases without the help of federal, state, and local law enforcement.

“Just up the road in Richmond, an ATF investigation lead to the the arrest of an armed felon trafficking cocaine,” Morrow said.

This year members from ATF seized 168 firearms through criminal investigations. Lexington Police Chief Lawrence Weathers said youth-involved shootings have also increased. Before the pandemic, officers visited warning kids about the dangers of guns.

“You might be aiming for one person, but that doesn’t mean that’s where the violet is going to go,” Chief Weather said.

Now his department is focused on connecting young people with community resources.

Officials are encouraging people to seek other alternatives besides using guns.

Copyright 2020 WKYT. All rights reserved.

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