Jan 6, 2023 - News

Des Moines police confiscate record number of guns in 2022

Illustration of gun barrels getting longer forming an upward trending bar chart.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Des Moines police confiscated a record 780 guns in 2022.

  • That topped the department's previous three-year average of 640, Sgt. Paul Parizek tells Axios.

Why it matters: Weapons are generally confiscated as evidence and reflect the level of gun-related violence in a community, Parizek said.

By the numbers: There were 22 homicides in DSM in 2022 — 19 involved guns. In 2021, there were 14 homicides.

  • There were, on average, 18 in DSM between 2017 and 2021.

Zoom in: DSM's increase is believed to be linked to the overall prevalence of guns and a growing mindset to carry them.

  • Police have not drastically altered confiscation tactics in recent years, Parizek said.

The big picture: The U.S. has over 120 firearms per 100 residents, more than anywhere else in the world, Bloomberg reports.

  • Law enforcement agencies in some of the country's largest cities reported record or near-record high numbers of firearm seizures in recent years, according to a CNN report published last year.
  • In mid-December, U.S. Transportation Security Administration officials announced that the agency intercepted a record number of firearms at airports — more than 6,300 — and nearly 90% were loaded.

Meanwhile, voters in November overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the state's constitution making Iowa's gun rights guarantees among the most extensive in the nation.

  • And Iowa Republican leaders say they plan to expand gun rights in this year's legislative session, KCCI reports.

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