Mobile Police Chief Lawrence Battiste reports 130 guns were reported stolen in January alone. MPD can't fix the problem if the community doesn't step up.
Wednesday, NBC 15 sat down one-on-one with Chief Battiste to discuss a new public service announcement the department’s putting out in hopes of targeting irresponsible gun owners.
The PSA is 30 seconds long and highlights three words with the potential to save lives – lock it up.
The message “Lock it up” is repeated by the faces of our police, public safety and future.
“You need no additional motivation than that part of it right there,” Chief Battiste said, as he referenced a young girl on a playground asking the community to lock up their guns, adding “If you don’t do it for that, I don’t know what else we can do for our community.”
MPD is asking gun owners to take two simple steps – lock your car and take a photo of your gun’s serial number.
“There’s no other way to say it. If you drive around with a weapon in the car and you fail to lock the doors, knowing the weapon is in there, you haven’t done your part to make our city safer.”
Chief says far too often property owners report their guns stolen but don’t know the serial number for their weapon.
“Property owners didn’t know the serial numbers, therefore we couldn’t subsequently charge the offender that we caught in possession with those weapons with receiving stolen property,” he said.
Those who carry stolen guns frequently move on to worse crimes.
“Guns make people feel bigger than they are, and the goal is to take those weapons out of people’s hands who don’t know how to be responsible if they have it.”
Lock your car and document your gun. Together those two steps can save lives.
“It saves one life we’ve accomplished our tasks in getting the message out there.”