New program hopes to get guns out of the hands of convicted crim - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

New program hopes to get guns out of the hands of convicted criminals

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Anthony Ulm. Source: Vanderburgh County Jail Anthony Ulm. Source: Vanderburgh County Jail

An Evansville man with a criminal record is now facing federal gun charges.

Federal authorities say they found Anthony Ulm, who had previous drug and theft convictions, in the possession of three high-powered firearms. 

That indictment against Ulm is one of the first ones in our area this year. Authorities say because of Ulm's criminal history, he had no right to have two powerful rifles and a 12 gauge shotgun.  

Those guns are now off the street, and authorities believe a new program will get even more guns out of the hands of criminals.

"Yeah, we definitely need to get the guns off the street," Matthew Jourdan said.  

Matthew Jourdan is all for an effort to get guns, especially assault weapons, out of the hands of convicted criminals.

"I'm for guns, but there are some guns that just are way too much where the military needs it. But not us people on the street because that's where massive violence happens," Jourdan said.

That's exactly why the United States Attorney's Office and the Vanderburgh County Prosecutor's Office have joined forces to target those convicted of multiple felonies and are in the possession of illegal firearms.

"When a gun is in the hands of a convicted felon, there is an exponentially higher likelihood that gun is going to be used in a crime of violence than when that gun is in the hand of a law-abiding licensed gun owner," said United State Attorney Joseph Hogsett.

In 2010, 14 people faced federal gun-related charges in the Southwestern Indiana district. The next year, that number jumped to more than 110.  

In 2012, more than 160 firearms related charges were filed. 10 of those defendants were in the Evansville area.

"We have increased the number of people who have been indicted in this district and a big part of that is because they're a felon who is possessing firearms," Special Assistant US Attorney Levi Burkett said.

"All the felons, definitely don't need no guns or nothing like that," Jourdan said.

Anyone convicted of federal gun charges face up to 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.

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