LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- The Little Rock Police Department, in partnership with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is working in designated areas of the City of Little Rock to reduce the illegal carrying and usage of firearms.
In incidents where officers have contact with individuals in possession of a firearm or ammunition, they will review the facts, criminal history of the individual involved, and other factors, to determine if the criteria are met for a Federal Firearm Violation.
This city-wide initiative began Saturday, August 4th.
"We're not out to target an individual who is lawful in carrying a weapon. We're out to target the criminal activity," said Sgt. Cassandra Davis with the Little Rock Police Department.
The penalties will be strict, according to Davis, federal statutes for anyone with a criminal history, who has an illegal firearm or ammunition.
"A lot of times under the state statute, you serve maybe one-sixth of the time. With the federal statute, you maybe charged, or the years of punishment maybe longer. And you most definitely will serve your time, about 85 percent of your time before you are eligible for parole or release," Sgt. Davis said.
So how do gun shop owners feel about this guns free initiative?
THV spoke with Tom Denniston, the owner of Fort Thompson Sporting Goods in Sherwood.
"I see no problem with that. If you're a criminal you don't need to have a firearm," Denniston said. "What I understand about it, it's basically enforcing the law like it is now. And that's been the standpoint with NRA. Everybody wants new laws, but they need to enforce what we've got on the books now."
Denniston said he works to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.
"We actually call the FBI NICS system and we put the information in, and if you are delayed for three days or denied, you can not purchase a firearm at all," Denniston said.
One of hiss regular customers, Roy Spann, just wants to know that law abiding gun owners will not be affected.
"I just feel like it's the criminals are the ones that are going to get the guns and have the problems with it. But the law abiding citizens, I hate to see anything put on that's going to have any more restrictions or constraints on us owning our weapons," Spann said.
Sgt. Davis reiterated the goal of the "Gun Free Initiative," which is to get illegal guns off the streets.