More prison time for felons with guns thanks to federal program

Toledo police and federal prosecutors team up to stop violent gun crime.

Toledo Police Department piled firearms on a table to send a message to convicted felons at a press conference on Monday: Gun crime equals prison time.

Through an effort between Toledo police and federal prosecutors called "Project Safe Neighborhoods," a felon convicted of three or more violent crimes can go to jail for seven to 22 years just for possessing a gun--even if the felon isn't using the firearm or is being arrested for an unrelated reason.

"All the gun violence here everyday, every weekend in the city of Toledo is getting to be something that the community is tired of and the law enforcement. It's something we're addressing," said Agent Kyle Walton of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

This year alone, six cases were sent to federal prosecutors. Last year, 26 people were convicted.

With federal prosecutors involved, convicted felons spend more time in prison with no chance of parole. They can even be sent to prisons out of state.

"We need the community's help to call us at Crime Stoppers and report any firearm tips they may have," Walton said. "We're going to aggressively follow up on these tips. And as you can see here from the guns presented here and from the sentences that these defendants have received, it's a serious time."