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Manteca police chief urges residents to lock away their guns

May 9, 2012 |  8:42 am

The police chief of a Central California city is urging residents to secure their firearms as a way of fighting crime.

"Lock them up," Manteca Police Chief Nick Obligacion said.

The chief says he supports the right to bear arms but would like to see more law-abiding gun owners use safes to lock up their weapons.  He said 90% of the 38 guns his department has taken off the streets recently are guns that were stolen in burglaries.

“A gang member doesn’t go into Big 5 or Bass Pro and say, ‘Hey, can I have that 357 off the shelf? I’m going to do a drive-by and wait 15 days to do the drive by.’ It’s a gun that’s been stolen off the street,” Obligacion said.

The police chief said gangs and guns go together.  He points to four drive-by shootings in eight days in Manteca. 

Last week, Sacramento Sheriff Scott Jones reported his newly created “Impact” unit took 112 guns off the street in just the last four months. 

If law-abiding citizens make an effort to put their guns in safes, will it make a difference in gun violence and lives saved? 

“I can’t say all those 112 guns that we confiscated and took off the street would have been used to commit murder and attempted murders, but I think I can say with certainty that many of them would have been,” Jones said.

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--Teri Cox, Fox 40 Sacramento

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