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Thread: Ohio Gun Crime Center aims to trace illegal firearms

  1. #1
    State Researcher dng's Avatar
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    May 2007
    , , USA

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    Richfield -- A new crime-fighting project aims to collect data on all illegal firearms confiscated in Northeast Ohio, which law enforcement officials hope will make it easier to trace guns used in violent crimes.

    Officials announced the project -- dubbed the Ohio Gun Crime Center -- Friday. It is part of an initiative to tackle gun violence in the region.

    The initiative, the Northern Ohio Violent Crime Consortium, is paid for with a $5.9 million federal grant. The initiative promises a concerted effort to fight gun crimes by entities including the Department of Justice, the Ohio attorney general and police in Cleveland, Youngstown, Akron, Canton, Elyria, Lorain, Mansfield and Toledo. State and federal law enforcement agencies are also part of the collaborative.

    Officials sought the grant to curb a rise in gun violence recorded since 2005, U.S. Attorney Greg White said. The region had 240 homicides in 2006.

    "This is a problem too big for any [one] city," Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann said.

    Officials also said the initiative will help police better understand gun-trafficking patterns and identify traffickers.

    Last year, police outside Ohio confiscated 1,800 firearms that were originally sold in the state, White said. Ohio ranks seventh among states as a source for illegal firearms.

    While major cities such as Los Angeles and Chicago have established gun crime centers, the Ohio Gun Crime Center is believed to the first of its kind in Ohio, officials said.

    "The goal is to trace every gun recovered by law enforcement from the date of manufacturing to the date of recovery," said White.

    The center will also feature a mobile unit with access to a national ballistics network that will travel to local police stations.

    Most firearms leave unique markers on the rounds they fire. Local police departments will be able to test-fire confiscated weapons, then check the ballistics network to see if the gun has been used in other crimes in other areas.

    Police across the region will also receive remote units to help them quickly enter data about guns from crime scenes, Dann said.

    Mayor Frank Jackson called the recent wave of gun violence a "plague."

    Among the trends seen in that surge are illegal guns falling into the hands of younger people, officials said.

    "There are more guns in the hands of young people, and the result is death," Jackson said.

    To reach this Plain Dealer reporter:, 216-999-4334

    I can't put my finger on the reason why this worries me, but it does. I think it might be that the idea of tracing guns is something that I think will lead to registering all firearms, which will then lead to gun confiscation. Any thoughts on if this?

  2. #2
    Regular Member
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    Oct 2007
    , Oregon, USA

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    Well for starters, gun tracing is pretty limited in what it can accomplish. As for registration...I like the example of New Zealand, where the police lobbied the legislature for years to get national gun registration overturned. Apparently it cost a boatload of money and manpower to adminestrate,and never solved a single crime.

    Now if only we could convince the people over hereto vote in lawmakers who weren't ignorant of basic logical principles...

  3. #3
    Accomplished Advocate
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    Oct 2007
    Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

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    The article talks about tracing the firearm from manufacture through each owner to a crime committed. That is the spooky part. As we well know, most firearms were sold through a federal licensed dealer. After that step, the firearm can change many hands through private citizen sales, private person to private person. Most private citizens don’t keep records of who they sold the firearm to. Or an older person passes away and a family member takes position of the firearm, maybe they sell it or give it away. That firearm could change hands many times. On the other hand, maybe the firearm was stolen and the serial number is unknown when reported. Now, through this scenario, lets say it was not one firearm but three or four firearms.

    So, the question is, does someone get charged with trafficking in firearms? And don’t think this can’t happen.

    Think about this. Lets substitute automobile for firearm. Now the automobile was used in the crime. Does the tracing of the automobile back through the owners to the manufacture create a crime? Did the person that sold the automobile become an accessory to a crime?

    I guess we don’t need to give lawmakers any ideas. They love to create crimes out of innocent happenstances.

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