The killing of a Shreveport, La., police officer is being cited by gun-control advocates as an example of a preventable death, although police haven’t said how the suspect obtained his weapon. The Shreveport Times says Thomas LaValley was shot Wednesday night responding to a report of suspicious activity. Ari Freilich of the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence said that “it's too easy for the wrong people to get their hands on deadly weapons.” Grover Cannon, 27, faces charges of murder and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.
In Louisiana, private sales of guns don't require paperwork. Freilich calls it a loophole, though many don't agree. Closing it might help, he said, and he noted states with weaker gun laws tend to have higher rates of firearms-related deaths. A 2014 Violence Policy Center report, based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control data, found states with weaker gun laws and high gun ownership had higher overall rates of gun-related deaths. Louisiana was one of the five states listed as having the highest per capita gun-related deaths rates in 2012. A National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund mid-year 2015 report found 64 officers killed in the line of duty during the first half of this year, a 3 percent increase over the same period last year.