Murders in Washington, D.C., are up more than 35 percent this year and the city’s mayor, running short on ideas, has decided to pay criminals to hand over their illegal guns.
Mayor Muriel Bowser sent a letter to city residents Wednesday offering a reward of as much as $10,000 for information that leads to the recovery of an illegal gun.(VIDEO: DC’s Police Chief Accidentally Details What’s Wrong With Gun Laws)
“Illegal firearms are responsible for most homicides in the District. And illegal guns continue to make their way into the hands of violent criminals,” Bowser wrote. “Our police department is making progress – but they cannot do it alone.”
Bowser, along with the city’s police chief Cathy Lanier, announced that the city is now offering a reward of $2,500 for a tip that leads police to a gun. If the tip leads to the arrest and conviction in a shooting, the reward jumps to $10,000.
The move comes just two days after three people were killed in the city in a matter of five hours. One of them on the steps of a church.
The city is grappling with a huge spike in homicides. At 98 so far this year, Washington has seen a 35 percent rise over the same time last year, and is closing in on 105, the total number of murders seen in 2014.
According to Bowser’s letter, the Metropolitan Police Department has seized close to 1,000 illegal guns from criminals already this year. The police have taken over 100 in just the last month, including an Uzi submachine gun from a home where children were present.
Baltimore, which is about 40 miles from Washington has seen 211 murders this year, which is equal to the amount the city saw all of 2014.
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