Whitmer announces Operation Safe Neighborhoods reaches new milestone with more than 200 illegal guns off the street and 235 arrests

On Thursday, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer provided an update on the number of illegal guns taken off the streets as a part of the Operation Safe Neighborhoods program. Since the operation began, law enforcement officials have conducted 1,767 check-ins with felony offenders, leading to 205 illegal guns taken off the street before they could be used in commission of a crime.

During sweeps, officers have also recovered countless illegal drugs and ammunition.

“As governor, keeping families and communities safe is my top priority,” said Whitmer. “Today, I am proud to announce that Operation Safe Neighborhoods has taken 205 illegal guns off the street before they could be used in commission of a crime. Since I took office, I have worked across the aisle to invest over $1 billion in public safety. I will continue working with anyone to prevent gun violence, bring down crime, and help Michiganders feel safe in their neighborhood.”

Operation Safe Neighborhoods is a statewide crack down on crime aimed at reducing gun violence by getting illegal guns off the street and out of the hands of people who cannot legally be in possession of a gun due to prior criminal history.  

“Every Michigander in every corner of the state deserves to live freely and safely,” said Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II. “I am encouraged to see the progress happening around the state as local law enforcement agencies put state resources to work to prevent gun violence and crime by getting guns off our streets. Governor Whitmer and I look forward to continuing to invest in all of the mechanisms available to us to create communities where every person feels safe, knowing that the state of Michigan is invested in their future.”

“Reducing the number of firearms on our streets and in our communities is a critical part of preventing gun violence,” said Attorney General Dana Nessel. “Families should feel safe in their neighborhoods, free from the threat of ghost guns and other illegal firearms. I have joined with attorneys general across our country to crack down on the proliferation of these weapons and I am
happy to be part of the progress being made in Michigan to get guns off our streets.”

“Our mission as a department is creating a safer Michigan and our field agents play a crucial role in that effort. By partnering with local law enforcement on these targeted actions, we are helping to take guns and drugs off our streets, which means less crime and fewer victims,” MDOC Director Heidi Washington said.  

“Our troopers see the deadly results and devastating impact illegal guns have on communities every day, and I commend the Michigan Department of Corrections for their work,” stated Col. Joe Gasper, director of the Michigan State Police.

Nearly one in three reported violent crimes in Michigan involve a firearm, and in the first half of 2022, over 450 Michiganders have lost their lives due to gun violence. The new initiative builds on Whitmer’s MI Safe Communities program that she launched last summer to invest in local police, get illegal guns off the street, and fund expanded opportunities in jobs, education, and the justice system.

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