'Anytime there's a gun out there not in our control, it poses a threat'

'Anytime there's a gun out there not in our control, it poses a threat'
YAKIMA, Wash. -- Yakima police are confiscating fewer guns from the streets. So are there fewer guns or few opportunities to seize them?

They're the talk of the nation. A controversial debate on how to control gun violence by expanding background checks. The challenge is keeping the weapons out of the hands of criminals and those without a permit.

"Take guns away from people with no need to have one," said Dan Taylor who lives in Yakima. "That's a great thing."

In Yakima that's happening less. Police confiscated about 250 guns in 2011 and only about 200 in 2012. So far this year it's about 50.

"They're either hiding them better or doing a better job," said Taylor.

Yakima police tend to agree. Captain Rod Light says it doesn't mean fewer criminals have their hands on deadly weapons.

"Doesn't mean there's less guns on the street," said Yakima police captain Rod Light. "It's just that the opportunity to find or discover or come across them hasn't presented itself."

Those opportunities come in the form of police searches, crime scenes and simple traffic stops.

"Anytime there's a gun out there not in our control, it poses a threat," said Capt. Light.

After that threat is removed it winds up in the YPD property room. But, they don't stay here either.

"At some point, we can't keep collecting guns," said Capt. Light.

The boxes of evidence are eventually either given back to the owner or destroyed. All so criminals' hands remain empty.

We're told Yakima police are now able to trade confiscated guns for swat gear. Those trades are strictly with state or federal agencies.