The U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama says in 2019, his office prosecuted close to 350 possession of firearm cases.
That’s almost one case for every day of the year.
On Wednesday, WAAY 31 asked U.S. Attorney Jay Town what must be done to get illegal guns off the streets.
Town told us getting guns out of the hands of felons is a top priority. But it’s easier said than done. Wednesday he explained one reason the number of prosecutions in our area is on the rise.
"What we've also been prosecuting is are the straw purchasers who can otherwise legally buy or purchase a firearm but then they know they are giving it to someone they cannot," says Town.
Town said the need for taking these illegal guns off the streets is crucial for our own safety but also for law enforcement. In just 2019 alone, 6 officers were shot and killed in the line of duty, and 5 of them were killed by stolen hand guns.
Huntsville Police were the last department to lose one of their officers from someone who possessed a gun illegally.