DC offers new cash reward for tips on illegal guns

Tips that lead to the arrest and seizure of illegal guns in the District will now be eligible for at least $1,000 in cash.

While D.C. has given cash for tips in the past, this is the first time a minimum reward is being offered.

An additional $5,000 is being offered for ghost guns, which are untraceable, or for firearms equipped with an automatic conversion.

Interim D.C. police Chief Ashan Benedict says over 3,100 illegal firearms were recovered last year, which was a new record.

So far this year, that number is 1,400.

Officials in the District hope the new minimum reward will incentivize more people to call in with tips.

“You play a role in making our city safer,” said Craig Kailimai, Special Agent in Charge, Washington Field Division ATF. “We cannot be everywhere, but you are.”

Many of the guns D.C. police confiscate are illegally trafficked from southern states, including Virginia, Georgia and the Carolinas.

Chief Benedict said ghost guns are becoming an increasingly big problem.

He said there were approximately five confiscated ghost guns in 2017. In 2022, that number jumped to 500.

“We have a gun problem that is plaguing our community,” Benedict said. “We continue to see instances where people with no regard for life recklessly discharge firearms.”

The MPD tip line is 202-727-9099 or text 50411. The minimum reward incentive lasts through Oct. 1.

Shayna Estulin

Shayna Estulin joined WTOP in 2021 as an anchor/reporter covering breaking news in the D.C. region. She has loved radio since she was a child and is thrilled to now be part of Washington’s top radio news station.

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