FLINT (AP) – Authorities say felons caught illegally with guns in Flint could face federal charges under a new initiative.

The Flint Journal says U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade made the announcement Thursday.  Flint is the birthplace of General Motors and suffers from high unemployment and decades of declining population.

McQuade says federal charges can be stiffer than what’s allowed under state law.

Gun violence has been a problem in Flint this year and some fear the city could surpass last year’s record of 66 homicides.

Thursday’s announcement follows Gov. Rick Snyder’s appropriations bill signing that includes $1 million for a pilot public safety initiative in Flint. That money will be used to house up to 200 Genesee County Jail prisoners in other counties to free up local space as more arrests are made.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.


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