New developments on an issue FOX10 News has been following for several months: how to cut down on the number of guns stolen from unlocked vehicles.

Guns

Tuesday, Mobile's public safety director had new information on the latest figures concerning stolen guns.

And the Mobile City Council took action it hopes will help.

But, this time, Public Safety Director James Barber had some optimistic news

You may have seen the public service announcements and heard the messages: if you own a gun, keep it locked up.

Before Tuesday's city council meeting, Barber told FOX10 News about new figures on the number of stolen guns this year.

Barber said, "We have seen a downturn here recently, so we're about 25 less guns taken this year, year to date, than there were last year, and that's a very recent downturn, so we're hoping the message has gotten out."

And Barber says the problem of stolen guns crosses county lines.

He said, "I think (Baldwin County) Sheriff Hoss Mack has addressed the Baldwin County issue, and that's the unincorporated areas of Baldwin County, but you're also seeing the same kind of problems in Daphne and other municipalities in Baldwin County where those guns are being taken from unlocked vehicles, and they're showing up in Mobile."

Also Tuesday, the Mobile City Council voted to support a resolution backing two crime bills in the Alabama State Legislature.

One would make it a felony to be in possession of a stolen firearm.

Another would be a constitutional amendment to give judges greater power to hold violent offenders without bail when there's evidence they're going to re-offend.

The resolution also calls on legislators to give cities like Mobile more freedom in dealing with guns and violence.

But it doesn't mandate or even suggest penalties against people who's unlocked weapons are stolen.

The sponsor of the resolution, Council Member C.J. Small, said, "We said, 'Just do something.' If it's just something, on the first offense, you just tap on the hand and said, 'Be cautious,' that's fine. The second offense, maybe give them a ten dollar ticket or a hundred dollar ticket. "

Public Safety Director Barber has said he's against putting criminal penalties against the owners of stolen guns.

All content © 2019, WALA; Mobile, AL. (A Meredith Corporation Station). All Rights Reserved.

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