AUGUSTA, GA ( WJBF) — Under the policy deputies can store firearm information in a database if they make contact with someone who is part of a criminal investigation and owns a gun.
Chief Patrick Clayton with the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office said the policy is a standard procedure that’s been going on for years.
” We’re not doing anything more than we’ve been doing for the last 30 years. We’re merely putting it in a place where we have it at our fingertips,” Clayton said.
The policy has raised some concern from gun owners who see the database as an infringement on their second amendments rights, but deputies said the goal of the policy is to cut down on gun violence, not to infringe on the rights of gun owners.
” We’re looking for the people that are involved in criminal activity or suspected criminal activity and are carrying guns. That’s the main focus of this whole thing. We’re not interested in people that are legally carrying firearms,” Clayton said.
A local gun shop owner said the policy could help get stolen firearms off the street, but as for as cutting down on gun violence — only time will tell.
“Their job is truly to protect the citizenry of this area. Is it a step, a proactive step yes it is. Is it a step in the wrong direction? Only time will tell,” Sidney’s Department Store president M. Steven Fishman said.
Deputies said they will not be stopping concealed carriers just to make record of their guns.
Their focus is logging information on guns that are directly related to a criminal investigation or suspected in a possible crime.