WDSU Investigates: NOPD seizing illegal guns, but state laws stand in their way – WDSU New Orleans

It was just days ago that the New Orleans Police Department said it was seizing more illegal guns than ever before.

But, they say, they’re being hamstrung in their attempts to get even more weapons off the streets.


It’s s a law that really frustrates the NOPD and even more so because it looks like it won’t be changing any time soon.

A melee on Bourbon Street last month was caught on video.

NOPD officers quickly stepped in to act.

Police say the man had a gun on him and could have opened fire.

Investigators say the gun was illegal, and the man didn’t have a proper permit to carry it.

But because cops say it’s his first offense, he only faces a misdemeanor.

“There are so few consequences that people make the decision to do it,” said NOPD Supt. Michael Harrison.

Harrison says that’s not only frustrating, it’s potentially dangerous.

“So many people are getting caught carrying guns illegally and they’re in and out of jail because of weak laws,” said Harrison.In Louisiana, if you’re arrested and charged with illegal possession of a firearm, it’s a misdemeanor if it’s your first offense.

“I think the law needs to be tougher, the consequences need to be tougher,” said Harrison.

That’s because, numbers show, cops in New Orleans are seizing more illegal weapons than ever before.

The NOPD says last year, almost 2,000 guns that were on the streets illegally were confiscated.

And that number has gradually grown over the last five years.

“Illegal guns are used in crimes of violence,” said Harrison.

And Harrison’s goal to make laws in Louisiana more strict isn’t new. “It just seems like so many chances are given to these young men,” said Ronal Serpas, the NOPD’s former

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