DC’s Geldart: Illegal guns coming into District from southern states

D.C.’s deputy mayor for public safety told the council that the main source of an “influx” of guns coming into the District is changing, and that police are changing their tactics as well.

“We have seen an influx of guns coming into the District of Columbia, definitely,” Chris Geldart testified during a council oversight hearing on Thursday.

But no longer is law enforcement seeing the majority of illegal firearms coming from Virginia. Since the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives began firearms examinations in place of D.C.’s Department of Forensic Sciences 10 months ago, Geldart said, they’ve recorded a change in the source.

“Right now, primarily what we’re seeing are guns that are coming in from Georgia and North Carolina. Those are the two primary areas, and, of course, we’re working with the ATF and they’re working with the states and all of that to see how we start to curb some of that,” Geldart said.

When Council member Janeese Lewis George asked Geldart how he tracks the success of the D.C. police, he referred to the impact made by a specific tactical operation to target and remove a neighborhood crew in Congress Heights.

“On MLK and Malcolm X right there where, you know, we did 13 arrests in like two days, we saw 60% reduction in violent crime that stayed for three months. We’re still seeing a reduction of 60%. That’s the metric; that’s what I’m looking at,” Geldart said.

A shooting near that intersection last July took the life of 6-year-old Nyiah Courtney. D.C. police later confirmed her father was the likely target of the shooting, and he was among those arrested in the days following the incident.

Megan Cloherty

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

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