Police Chiefs: Universal Background Checks for Gun Purchases

27 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

FBI Head, Police Chiefs Disagree On Impact Increased Scrutiny Having On Police Officers.

CHICAGO — Police chiefs from across the country called Monday for universal background checks for firearms purchases, saying opinion polls consistently show that most Americans support such restrictions.CHICAGO (CBS) — A sharp disagreement emerged today between America’s top federal law enforcement official and local police chiefs meeting here in Chicago.CHICAGO — With President Obama weighing whether to take executive action to expand the nation’s gun laws, several high-profile law enforcement officials on Monday called on federal lawmakers to strengthen background checks on gun purchases.White House press secretary Josh Earnest conceded Monday that Chicago is a city with a high rate of gun crimes and murder despite having very strict gun control laws.

CBS 2 Chief correspondent Jay Levine says an issue first raised by Mayor Emanuel about camera shy cops has spread from city hall to city streets and all the way to the White House. Leaders of nine national law enforcement groups made the call at the annual International Association of Chiefs of Police conference the day before hundreds of police chiefs and sheriffs are to hear from President Obama, who has vowed to be more forceful in his push to bolster U.S. gun laws. The ability to share information, much like Homeland Security does when it comes to potential terrorists, could help keep guns out of the wrong hands “this is not about legal guns.

It also asked Congress to strengthen the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to ensure that all states and federal agencies include disqualifying records in the system. McCarthy said he was passionate about the issue after four years on the job in Chicago, which has more shootings and killings than big cities such as New York and Los Angeles, and where police seize illegal guns at a much higher rate. The backdrop for both groups was another weekend of violence in Chicago, more shootings, more killings and an FBI director here today and struggling to come up with a reason for it. “In today’s Youtube world, are officers reluctant to get out of their cars and do the work that controls violent crime?” said FBI Director James Comey. “Are officers answering 911 calls but avoiding the informal contact that keeps bad guys with guns from standing around?” “My officers are working,” said McCarthy. “I absolutely know that.

These men and women are out there putting their lives on the line every single day.” But those who gathered today at what they called a kind of local wailing wall, said whatever McCarthy’s men and women were doing, wasn’t working, in part because of a lack of trust between people here and police. “Let’s just get right to the heart of this,” McCarthy said. “This training is not going to reverse 300 years of history in this country. Mass shootings in the United States such as the one this month at a community college in Oregon, where a gunman killed nine people, typically renew calls by some officials for more gun control. That’s the first thing that we have to realize.” McCarthy and his fellow police chiefs argued that easy access to guns was the real problem, with national background checks at the top of their wish list and stiffer sentences for gun crimes not far behind. McCarthy has seen homicides rise 19% and shooting incidents rise by 18% in the Windy City so far in 2015 even as police have made 25% more gun-related arrests in the city so this year. A Gallup poll released last week showed that 55 percent of Americans preferred tighter regulations on gun sales, something the National Rifle Association generally opposes.

More than 466,000 people were victims of crimes involving guns in the USA last year, up 40% from the prior year, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Earnest did not have an update as to where things stood regarding possible executive actions on guns, which administration officials have said are pending.

Mass shootings, such as this month’s rampage at an Oregon community college that left 10 dead and nine others wounded, are also occurring more frequently. Obama is expected to talk to the gathering of chiefs on Tuesday in Chicago about the need for tougher gun laws and how police can work more effectively with their communities to combat violence. The president made a failed attempt at pushing tougher gun legislation in the aftermath of the 2012 massacre at Newtown, Conn., in which 20 children and six adult staff members were killed. President Obama has spoken out forcefully against gun violence, but his proposed reforms have been dead on arrival in the Congress, unable even to come to a vote.

Any sensible plan against the spike in murders and shootings will include jobs for the young, increases in the minimum wage, guaranteed paid family leave days and more. The Black Lives Matter Movement has raised awareness of the violence in our cities, focusing on the horror of African Americans threatened by the very police who are charged with protecting them.

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