Teens don't look far to find guns - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Teens don't look far to find guns

Posted: Updated:

CHATTANOOGA - (WRCB) - There have been nearly 20 shootings in Chattanooga since the beginning of the year, most carried out by teenagers.

Six deaths are included in those statistics.

Former police officers, local clergy and city leaders are stepping up, trying to reach the root cause.

But how are teenagers, some barely able to drive, getting their hands on guns?

We put that question to Chattanooga Police and to people who live in some of the most dangerous neighborhoods in town.

What we discovered: It's easier for a kid to get a gun than almost anything else he wants.

"It's easy to get one. It's just as easy, as knocking on the door, like a salesman knocking on the door trying to sell something else. You can get a gun," one mom who asked us not to use her name.

Turns out, she's right. Chattanooga Assistant Police Chief Tim Carroll says guns are probably more accessible than anything else out there right now.

Chattanooga Police have collected 200 guns so far this year and even more go unaccounted for.

"The gun that was used in the crime, by the time we identify who did it, the gun's already gone. They got rid of it, they don't have it or they won't tell us where it is. Or they tell us, 'I threw it in the river," says Carroll.

Assistant Chief Carroll says guns used in crimes are often stolen from houses or cars. Too many times, the original owner is missing a key piece of information Police need to find it.

"They call and say 'my Ruger .357 was stolen. I don't have the serial number.' We can make a report of it, but it's never entered into the computer as being stolen," says Carroll.

That's because it's impossible to trace a gun without it's serial number. Even with the serial number, it's often difficult to track ownership because anyone can sell a gun.

Powered by Frankly