ALBANY, GA (WALB) – With the growing problem of guns in the hands of criminals, law officers from across the state are in Albany for further training on firearms trafficking. And they're hopeful a new federal gun law will mean more prison time for violent criminals.
Federal law enforcement officials are holding training sessions for law enforcement officers, to explain the latest federal firearm laws as well as intelligence on trafficking of guns and how to trace them.
They want South Georgia law enforcement to use Federal laws to get gun toting criminals off the streets for longer terms in prison.
The new U. S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, Michael Moore, says federal laws can be used to clean up streets.
"One tool we have at our disposal is strong federal firearm laws. And the message needs to go out, that if you have a gun illegally or you use a gun in a crime, that we are open for business and we are going to move the case forward," Moore said.
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents say they know there are more illegal guns on the streets and they are after the source.
"Find out who is supplying the guns to the criminals. And that way we can attack this not only in the violent crime itself, but in those who are supplying the firearms to the illegal users," A.T.F. Special Agent in Charge Jeffery Pearce said.
Local law enforcement officers learned intelligence the feds have gathered about firearms trafficking, because many guns from Georgia end up in criminal hands across the nation.
"Georgia being a source state, for a lot of people buying guns in Georgia and shipping them out, which is a federal offense," said Albany State University Police Chief Roberson Brown.
The feds want to stop illegal guns from getting to criminals hands, and cut crime.
"We're intent to make this a better place to live, for people who are law abiding citizens," Moore said.
The new U.S. Attorney says he does not want to take guns away from those law abiding citizens, but instead to make sure criminals don't get guns.
One part of their training, what constitutes a firearm, because more criminals are using realistic looking toy guns in crimes, trying to avoid federal charges in case they are caught.
This is the fifth training session that the A.T.F. and federal officials have held in recent weeks. More than 100 law enforcement officers from across Georgia attended.