DC police collect 1,000 illegal guns as homicide rate climbs

WASHINGTON — The D.C. police are cracking down on illegal firearms and have collected more than 1,000 firearms so far this year, the chief said.

It has long been the aim of the department to seek and recover illegal firearms, which Chief Peter Newsham has said can escalate a situation and lead to violence just by their presence. Of the 1,000 illegal firearms seized in the city this year, Newsham said, 270 were pulled by the Gun Recovery Unit.

Joining forces with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Newsham said the unit tracked down a pair of alleged gun traffickers in Southeast.

“A male and female team were purchasing firearms at a gun show [in Virginia] and were bringing them back to our city,” he said at a news conference Monday.

Officers said they found four guns on Isaiah Green, 27, and Jazmin Wilburn, 28, during a traffic stop last Friday, and five more at a residence in Southeast. They’ve charged the pair with carrying a pistol without a license and possession of an unregistered firearm.

“In addition to recovering illegal firearms and interrupting the sources of illegal firearms into our community, we’ve also diverted resources and increased patrols in neighborhoods with the largest number of homicides,” Newsham said.

While violent crime in D.C. is down seven percent from 2017, homicides have increased by 37 percent, police data show.

Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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