An coalition of mayors, police chiefs, and a new group of gun owners launched the Minnesota phase of a campaign for access to federal gun-tracing data they want to use in investigating local crimes, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “As tragedy struck in Virginia yesterday, we were abruptly reminded of the quick violence that a gun in the wrong hands can play,” said Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak on yesterday. Rybak is among more than 180 members of the national Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition started by the mayors of Boston and New York City last year with the goal of restoring their access to gun crime data.
Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan said most of the 12,000 guns police seized in crimes last year were illegally obtained in Minnesota. Chaska, Mn., Police Chief Scott Knight noted that 60 percent of the guns used in crimes have been traced to 1 percent of the nation’s federally licensed gun dealers. Knight is portrayed on a video displayed on a new Web site, ProtectPolice.org, asking citizens to oppose a measure that he said has restricted what federal gun trace information is available to police chiefs.