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HARRISBURG, Pa. --
Keeping guns out of the hands of criminals is a tough job for law enforcement.
The state's top cop is teaming up with local police departments to stop illegal gun purchases.
In just one week, police in Harrisburg said it's not unusual for them to take 5 to 10 guns out of the hands of criminals or people who shouldn't have them.
Police Chief Charles Kellar said guns are always found during drug arrests. but more and more they're being found on younger individuals.
"A lot of these kids are carrying guns. It may not be the drug trade, they just feel they need protection. It's a cool thing to have. They get a hold of these guns and carry them around," said Kellar.
Some of the guns are stolen and exchanged for drugs, but police said more and more are being bought by people without criminal records for people with a criminal record and are prohibited by law from owning a gun.
Police call it a "straw purchase" and the buyer faces the same penalties as the person caught with the illegal firearm.
The attorney general has a new education program on DVD that he said he hopes will be used in the schools and communities to show that passing a gun illegally is a felony and is punishable by time in jail.
The attorney general's gun violence task force, which has taken hundreds of guns off the streets in Philadelphia, may soon be assisting police in the Susquehanna Valley with the same goal.
"The individuals we're running into or dealing with aren't responsible gun owners, they're criminals. That's what we need to concentrate on and eliminate," said Kellar.
Harrisburg is also getting help with the gun problem from the federal government, including ATF agents, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Story From: wgal.com
 
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