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Michigan State Police see uptick of gun seizures during traffic stops

103 illegal weapons seized

DETROIT – Officials are reporting an uptick in the number of illegal guns Michigan State Police has recovered from freeways in the Detroit area.

Officers said their primary goal is to get more of the weapons off the streets to prevent more freeway shootings from happening.

“This isn’t designed for protection. It’s designed to help commit a crime,”said Lt. Mike Shaw with Michigan State Patrol

Police said 103 illegal weapons were recovered from traffic stops between April and July 30 of this year on highways surrounding Metro Detroit.

“These are from everyday folks that are driving around with illegal guns,” said Lt. Shaw. “We’re as amazed as anybody else is. These are speeding stops. These are stops where somebody was swerving in their lane and maybe had an open into in their vehicle.”

Last year, around the same time only 28 guns were seized.

“It’s just a sign of the times right now. People are nervous,” said Lt. Jennifer Johnson.

The seizures aren’t just happening here in the State of Michigan, but all over the US.

“It’s not just us. It’s not the city of Detroit. This is a violent uptick across the country,” said Lt. Shaw.

Which is why police are stressing, it’s best to avoid a road rage incident, especially on the freeway.

“Whenever you introduce a firearm to a situation such as a road rage ... bad things are bound to happen. That’s why it’s imperative that we continue to get these guns off the street,” Lt. Johnson said.

In recent weeks, there have been a total of 15 freeway shootings in Southeast Michigan. So far police have been making gains on at least 10 of them.

As far as what happens with the guns that were seized, they’ll be taken to the lab to see if they have any connection with other crimes. Afterwards, they’ll be destroyed.

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