MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) announced at a Thursday press conference in Selma that 24 people have been arrested on federal firearms charges.
According to ATF officials, the majority of the arrests were made in Selma. The agency announced it has launched an initiative with other agencies to go after those committing gun violence in Selma and other areas.
"These 24 specific individuals, who were arrested as part of this project, were responsible for an average of two prior felonies each," said ATF Assistant Special Agent in Charge David Hyche. "That is a lot of felonies. Also, 207 total arrest. That is 207 times that law enforcement has had to go out and make arrests for these people and they are still out on the street."
Hyche said he knows Selma is hurting from the violence, which is why the initiative was started. In federal court, those convicted and sentenced to federal prison serve their sentence with no possibility for parole. Hyche said residents who are hesitant to report crime for fear the suspect will be back on the streets after a few days need not worry about that with the new program.
Along with the announcement of arrests, ATF officials laid out a collection of firearms that they say represents the string of violent crime within the Gulf Coast Region.
Representatives from the U.S. Attorney's office, Attorney General, and the Selma Police Department joined ATF at the press conference. ATF has made a commitment to work alongside Selma PD and the Dallas County District Attorney's Office to make Selma a better place.
Anyone with information about gun violence should call their local law enforcement or submit an anonymous tip to ATF here.
The identities of the 24 people arrested have not been released.