Authorities: It's easy for criminals to get their hands on a gun

Authorities: It's easy for criminals to get their hands on a gun

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - One day after a 15-year-old was shot to death in Ladson, a Charleston County Sheriff's deputy said it is easy for criminals to get their hands on guns.

"It's pretty simple. A lot of times guns get put on the streets by burglaries, break ins to vehicles, sometimes a corrupt firearms dealer," Detective Christina Smith said.

Charles Tyler grew up in Union Heights and he has seen it all when it comes to crime.

Tyler, a community leader and mentor walks the streets and talks to teens about the dangers of having a gun.

"You have to talk to young people and let them know, you pick up a gun, it don't end there. It follows you for the rest of your life, that crime follows you," Tyler said.

Lots of teens apparently are not listening to Tyler or others who are preaching for the guns to be put down.

Last night, 15-year-old Alonza Williams was shot to death in Ladson.

Yesterday afternoon, North Charleston Police say a 15-year-old boy accidentally shot himself with a gun.

Smith says it's not unusual for someone with a clean record to go to a gun shop to buy a gun for a bad guy.

It's called a straw purchase.

"A person without a criminal background goes in and purchases the gun for somebody that has a criminal background," Smith said.

She says it's also easy to make a deal to get a gun.

"Exchanged for maybe guns and drugs or other things that somebody else may want, that somebody may exchange it for a TV. It just depends on the deal they make."

Tyler believes one of the ways to get the guns off the streets is to get to kids before they make a bad choice.

"And the thing that's so scary about this, the generation that is coming behind us is more dangerous than the one that we are facing right now and people cannot ignore that."

Detective Smith says sometimes there's another obstacle to getting guns off the streets.

She says the bad guys scratch off the gun's serial number and it's difficult if not impossible to trace where the weapon came from.

©2014 WCSC. All rights reserved.