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Tracking the guns impounded by Metro during 10 weeks

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Photo: Christopher DeVargas

There are a lot of guns in Nevada—that’s not news. In 2012 alone, the FBI performed 146,363 NICS background checks for Nevadans looking to purchase firearms, and in the wake of the Newtown shooting in December, NICS checks here were up more than 50 percent for the first two months of 2013. But not all guns that end up in the hands of Las Vegans stay there. Every day, every week, Las Vegas Metro Police take firearms off local streets.

Metro PIO Bill Cassell says guns may be impounded for a number of reasons: Some are used in the commission of a crime. Others are recovered stolen property. Some are impounded secondary to a crime, and others have been obtained illegally. But just how many guns wind up in police evidence bags or storage boxes? To get a sense of the scale, we asked Metro to track all the firearms impounded during the first 10 weeks of the year, from January 1 to March 12, 2013. Broken down by type, the total came in at 541 guns taken by police: 395 handguns impounded and 146 long guns impounded.

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Sarah Feldberg is the editor of Las Vegas Weekly magazine. A veteran journalist, Feldberg previously worked as the Weekly's web ...

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