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OPD cracking down on straw purchases

Posted at 10:43 PM, Nov 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-17 23:45:25-05

Earlier this week, the Omaha Police Department and the ATF cracked down on four people and their guns they gave to criminals who can’t purchase them, called a straw purchase.

Richard Burton, Brian Littlejohn, Javon Murray and Diamond Anderson were all arrested for suspicion of straw purchasing weapons.

“Individuals that do this are going to be held accountable,” said OPD Lieutenant Ken Kanger, “That's how a lot of our guns are ending up on the street and are involved in some of the violent crime.”

According to federal law, to legally purchase a firearm a person must be able to pass an FBI national instant criminal background check-and fully comply with state and local laws.

OPD says when people know they can't purchase a weapon-they get others to do it for them.

“Those weapons are what are used in shootings and robberies, homicides so getting those weapons off the streets,” said Kanger.

Straw purchased weapons hit home for OPD.

“We know the weapon that was used officer Kerrie Orozco was purchased under a straw purchase so we know how important it is to get these guns off the street,” said Kanger.

Ever since then, Kanger says OPD has put more of an emphasis on cracking down on straw purchasers.

“A lot of our resources and firearm resources are going toward these investigations, tracing those firearms seeing if individuals are buying multiple firearms and if they are-what they are doing with those weapons,” said Kanger.

Weapons that should not be in the hands of criminals and if you do help them Kanger says they're on to you.

“If you're asked and approached, you better think twice before you do it because you're going to be held accountable, criminally, either federally or through the state system,” said Kanger.

A straw purchase is considered a felony. OPD says if you have information about illegally purchased guns or someone who is selling guns to criminals you are asked to call crime stoppers that number is 402-444-STOP.

Also straw purchaser related tips can be eligible for a $1,000 gun bounty reward.