‘We can’t stand for that’: Yazoo City police seizing weapons found on teens

Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 11:09 AM CDT
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YAZOO CITY, Miss. (WLBT) - The Yazoo City Police Department is taking a bold stand against violence.

Police Chief Kenneth Hampton said the police department is seizing guns that are found on juveniles, regardless of the owner.

“If the parents are not responsible enough to make sure that their firearm is safe, then, in my opinion, they are not reliable enough to have a gun,” Chief Hampton said.

The department is taking steps toward putting an end to teen gun violence in Yazoo City.

“Once the youth is arrested, if they have a gun, it’s a series of things that we have to do,” Hampton said. “We have to make sure that the gun hasn’t been used in a violent crime. So, sometimes they’re held until they go to the crime lab. And if it’s being used by the juvenile, they’re not getting it back,” he said.

Detective Chauncy Webster said they plan to enforce this rule, regardless of who the rightful gun owner is.

“A juvenile owning a weapon is a crime. So, to allow it to be possessed by a juvenile, we can’t stand for that,” Webster said.

Some people in Yazoo said they agree with the decision to hold parents accountable.

“I think the parents should secure the firearms in the household so the child can’t get it,” Joseph Walker explained. “And, if they do get it, and the gun wasn’t secure, I think the parents should be liable too. They should have some kind of punishment for the parents,” he added.

Hampton said officers may or may not return the weapon if parents try to claim them

“There are parents that claim the gun, but I give that to the investigators. They do their research and see what was the situation, you know, before we give them back. But, don’t count on a second time,” Chief Hampton explained.

Webster is urging parents who are legal gun owners to follow basic gun safety at home.

“Please invest in a safe or lock. Please make sure your children are knowledgeable about how to use guns and how to stay away from them. It’s very important to make sure that they know that it’s a hands-off policy,” Webster said.

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