NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — At least 164 illegally owned guns were taken out of the Eastern District of Virginia in 2022, the Department of Justice says.

This comes as area attorneys with the Eastern District prosecuted 250 firearms offenders this past year, Jessica D. Aber, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, announced.

“Removing illegal firearms from the hands of felons and other prohibited people is a significant tactic in our office’s efforts to reduce gun violence and keep our communities safe,” Aber said. “If not taken out of circulation, the same weapon can be passed along and used in multiple crimes by many people. The forfeiture of these illegal firearms ensures they will not be used in the future against our law enforcement partners or community members.”

The effort to seize the illegal guns includes work with Project Safe Neighborhoods, which targets the most pressing violent crimes in the community, the DOJ says.

You can read more about the work and those who were sentenced here.