MOBILE, Ala (WALA) -- The number of guns Mobile police officers are taking possession of is on the rise.

In June, MPD seized 177.

“This is typical of what we find that we come into contact with on a daily basis,” said Lt. Louis Screws looking at some of the recent guns officers have seized.

The majority are evidence in crimes.

Lt. Screws is the Commander of MPD’s Gun Intelligence Unit.

“I have seen just on a normal month an uptick on the number guns we are seeing coming in,” he said. “Usually we’d average about 1,200 a year, which is about 100 month and now I think we’re closer to 1,500 a year.”

More guns are ending up in evidence lockup as MPD sees an increase in violent crime.

So far this year, there have been 32 murders in the Port City.

“We’re seeing more and more people settling disputes with firearms,” Screws said.

A portion of the guns that come in are stolen weapons. In June, they recovered 16 used during a crime, which is roughly a quarter of the number reported stolen that month.

Screws says most guns are taken from cars and then end up being used in crime.

“People will leave them open in a locked car well that’s just candy for someone to come through, break a window and snatch it out,” he said.

As police seize more guns after crimes that is an added chance that officers could be put in harm’s way.

“We train that there’s always one gun on the scene,” Screws said. “One gun being ours. We know about that one, but we don’t know about these. That’s the unknown that makes it so dangerous.”

Police say more often than not stolen guns will be used to commit crimes.

They are asking gun owners to keep their weapons locked up.

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