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Rifle pistols, sniper rifles, silencers, all turning up in Central Fla.

News 6 gets exclusive access to ATF's gun vault

ORLANDO, Fla. – In a highly-secure locker room at an undisclosed location, ATF's Orlando field division stores thousands of confiscated guns.

Special Agent in Charge Daryl McCrary, who oversees all Florida ATF offices, gave News 6 exclusive access.

Bins stacked on shelves reveal magazines, barrels, stocks, and other gun parts, including silencers.

Racks are filled with, among others, shotguns, long and short, a military-grade sniper rifle with high-powered scope and tripod, a pistol with a drum magazine capable of firing 100 rounds in seconds, and a pistol that fires a .223 rifle round.

"So when you're walking around with something like this, the amount of ammo you can carry could be devastating to a community," said McCrary. "They may be involved in the illicit drug trade, they may be gangs."

McCrary says the most common gun on Central Florida streets is the 9mm semi-automatic handgun.

"These guns are easy to conceal, small in nature," said McCrary.

All of the guns in the vault were taken off Central Florida streets from people either awaiting trial or awaiting sentencing, according to McCrary. And this is just a snapshot of the problem.

He said 19,000 guns were traced to crimes in Florida - in just the past year.

"Is this disturbing to you?" asked News 6 anchor Erik von Ancken.

"I've been at this a long time," said McCrary. "As much as people are disturbed, they should be happy the weapons are here. The fact is - if they're here, those bad guys are in jail and those weapons are off the street."

McCrary said the weapons were stolen or obtained illegally.

ATF is currently involved in the search for 121 guns stolen from businesses and homes in Volusia and Flagler counties during Hurricane Matthew.

ATF, together with the National Shooting Sports Foundation, announced a $5,000 reward for information leading to the 79 firearms stolen from Florida Gun Exchange, a federal firearm licensee, in Port Orange.

The Flagler County Sheriff's Office said 42 guns were stolen from a business in Palm Coast and at least 14 homes were targeted by robbers during the hurricane.

"There are a lot of firearms, it is a big problem, but we are working diligently to make sure the communities are safe and to get these guns out of the wrong hands," said McCrary. "We get results by using information from a variety of sources that we get through our crime gun intelligence centers."

McCrary wouldn't talk about ongoing undercover operations or say how many ATF agents are deployed on Central Florida's streets, but said ATF works hand in hand with local law enforcement to obtain information and get results on crime.

"We're working investigations at all hours of the night so we are in a continuous perpetual state working these criminal investigations," said McCrary. "We have operations ongoing every day of the week. Multiple operations."

McCrary said ATF gets involved when crimes involved guns - possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, violence against the community, narcotics trafficking and gang activity, among other offenses.

"I say we have a problem, but we have people working very hard to address that problem," said McCrary. "We see it getting better. I say because we can show we have communities where there have been double-digit drops in violence crimes. Double-digit drops in homicide."

"Can you keep up with the flow of guns to the streets?" asked von Ancken.

"Sure. It is hard, there are a lot of guns out there, but we're trying to address those as aggressively as we can," said McCrary.


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