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Police Chiefs Have Their Say On Gun Violence

October 9, 2007

Chaska, MN – Some of the nation's "top cops" have collaborated on a list of 39 recommendations for reducing gun violence. Scott Knight, police chief of Chaska, Minnesota, is among those who worked on the project. He says one of the top priorities should be closing a huge legal loophole.

"All federally licensed gun dealers are required to do a background check on you if you want to purchase a gun, to determine whether or not you are a prohibited person. If you go to a gun show, that rule does not apply to people who sell guns, but aren't federally licensed."

Knight says that means a lot of people who shouldn't have guns manage to get them, and the purchases can't be traced. The list, compiled by members of the International Chiefs of Police, also calls for a ban on military-style assault weapons. Knight adds the recommendations focus on safety, and not on limiting or taking away individual rights.

"This is not a Second Amendment issue, whatsoever. This has nothing do with law-abiding, legal gun owners, hunters, collectors and those types of individuals. This has to do with the wholesale availability of guns to criminals."

Knight notes that guns take the lives of 30,000 Americans each year, as well as causing many injuries. The list also suggests the federal government restore funding for a program (called "COPS") that provides gun-related law enforcement resources to state, local and tribal agencies.

The report, "Taking a Stand Against Gun Violence," can be viewed online, at
www.theiacp.org

Jim Wishner/John Robinson, Public News Service - MN