Nat'l report calls for crackdown on illegal guns, gun law reform

With Wilmington earning the infamous title of "America's Most Dangerous City" from Parenting Magazine, WDEL's Amy Cherry found a new report on national gun violence and prevention well worth the read.

The report by the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research finds cracking down on illegal guns is the key to a safer city.

"Baltimore in recent years has really redirected much of their energies toward illegal gun possession and discouraging that in a variety of ways, and they've successfully reduced their homicide rate," explains Daniel Webster, the center's director.

Keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals is crucial, that's why Webster says the state-sponsored gun buy backs you've seen here in Delaware aren't really making a difference.

"We don't feel that they have much promise in having large impacts on gun violence. Really probably, the most risky context of guns are going to be situations where they're not going to participate in the buybacks," says WEbster.

Webster also points to loopholes in laws that lead to prohibited people from possessing guns. Delaware's General Assembly worked to close some of those loopholes last year, but the fact remains there are still way too many illegal guns on the streets.

"Localities need to do the more difficult work, try to have their law enforcement efforts directed at discouraging illegal gun possession," says Webster.

The report finds reforming gun laws would help reduce violence though that quickly, and Webster claims unnecessarily, becomes a political issue.

"Most of the policies that we examine in our report, they have nothing to do with bans for law abiding citizens," Webster says.

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