From the DeSoto Sheriff’s Office
Sheriff Jayson Richardson has a very low tolerance for illegal possession of a firearm, especially those involved in violent or drug related crimes. While we stand as firm supporters of your 2nd Amendment right to bear arms, there are those among us who carry illegally with intent to cause harm to those in our community. Our deputies typically respond after a crime has already been committed, and the violence we witness would lead anyone to be more proactive to prevent those incidents in the future. When we say “Illegal Possession” that does not mean we are patrolling the streets looking for any individual with a weapon. Just to share a few examples of what constitutes illegal possession:
– The carrying of a Firearm by a Felon who is has been prohibited by a court from carrying for purposes of future potential violence.
– The carrying of a firearm while in the presence of a controlled substance such as illegal and dangerous drugs, especially those with intent to distribute those drugs to others.
– Possession of stolen firearms, or those serial numbers that have been flagged as stolen from a vehicle, residence, or business.
– Illegally modified firearms based on State and Federal laws which we have sworn to uphold.
Over the past six months there have been a total of 35 arrests made in DeSoto Parish where a crime was committed with a firearm or illegal possession of a firearm was identified. Those arrests resulted in 107 charges ranging from Aggravated Assault on an Officer with a Firearm, Drug Offenses, Domestic Abuse, Homicide, and Attempted Murder, all where a firearm was found or used. Just this past week there were 3 arrests and 9 charges that involved illegal possession of a firearm, which included drug charges. One of these arrests resulted in the recovery of a modified firearm made to be fully automatic. The swift action taken by our deputies may have made the difference between life or death for you or a loved one in the near future.
Our office takes pride in the fact that we live in a fairly safe community of law-abiding citizens. However, there are steps you can take to assist our deputies in keeping our parish safe and keeping illegally possessed firearms off our streets. One step is to maintain a list of serial numbers for each firearm you own. Keep that list somewhere safe just in case your firearm(s) are stolen. You can also remove firearms from your vehicles at night to prevent them ending up in the hands of a thief. And lastly, store your firearms safely and privately from any/all individuals that may have a history of mental illness. This includes those in your home, and those that have access to your home.
It takes the entire community working together and communicating with law enforcement to ensure that you or your family do not fall victim to the next violent crime. No matter our differences, we all share the common desire of a safe place for our children to grow and flourish. Please utilize the tools that our office has provided such as the Sheriff App and Crime Stoppers to send tips to our office if you have information on a crime or someone in illegal possession of a firearm.
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