Police working to get guns off the street

LAS VEGAS - Criminals with guns are a dangerous problem for police in Las Vegas.

In the past month, a number of officers have faced off with armed suspects who've shot at them. In one instance, a suspect struck an officer.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is currently working to take firearms out of criminal hands.

The department started a social media campaign called One Less Gun. The effort becoming even more important for officers as more suspects are willing to use weapons against police.

"It's definitely concerning for me to watch these over and over. We have these instances," said Asst. Sheriff Tom Roberts, LVMPD at the latest officer-involved shooting media briefing.

Officer Richard Nelson was hit in a gun battle recently with a suspect who fired nine times.

"You know it's been a tough month for us. We've had quite a few officer-involved shootings in the past month. Each of those involved somebody or a suspect trying to harm us or our officers," Roberts said.

Officer Nelson is expected to survive. The most recent shooting of an officer has Roberts concerned about the bigger issue.

"We have a gun issue in our community and our country quite frankly and that's something that we are going to be working on over the next year," Roberts said. 

Officers are now stepping up efforts to take guns away from illegally armed criminals.

Once a gun is confiscated, police post photos of them online and brand the post with #onelessgun.

So far, officers have taken firearms from high powered assault rifles to hand guns off the street. Drugs are often seized too.

Police say each gun taken out of the hands of criminals helps make the community safer including keeping officers safe who patrol the streets day in and out.

“We don't want to have to use deadly force on an individual but at the end of the day, we are not the ones that dictate the use of force that we use. The suspects' actions dictate our response," said Sgt. Jeff Clark, LVMPD. 

There are precautions legal gun owners can take to keep their guns from getting stolen by criminals.

Experts recommend keeping guns in a safe or gun case if possible.


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