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Hickenlooper, Colorado Police "Take Aim" at Illegal Guns

June 11, 2007


Denver - Colorado police are "taking aim" at getting all illegal guns out of the hands of criminals, but they say they don't have access to some of the tools they need to hit the target. That's the message from a coalition called "Mayors Against Illegal Guns." Denver's John Hickenlooper is one of the mayors taking the lead in promoting the national effort this month, and he says the government needs to support their efforts.

“Illegal guns pose a greater risk for both our police officers and our citizens and present major challenges in solving crimes. We've gotta step up and start demanding from our federal representatives that they help us enforce the laws that they've already passed.”

At issue is a 2003 law that restricts local government and police access to a federal gun database. Sarah Moss, spokesperson for Mayor Hickenlooper, says the law makes it more difficult for police to root out illegal gun dealers.

“When police are able to isolate those sources that are selling the illegal guns and prosecute those shops or people that are selling the guns illegally, they're able to stop a greater number of crimes that way.”

The campaign is also supported by numerous law enforcement groups, including the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police. Opponents say repealing the law could actually empower illegal gun dealers by making it easier for them to access the federal gun database and find new customers.

More information is online at www.mayorsagainstillegalguns.org.

Eric Mack, Public News Service - CO