Amid concerns of growing gun violence, Sacramento’s City Council last night approved new laws aimed at thwarting a firearms black market that police say allows illegal weapons to proliferate, says the Sacramento Bee. One ordinance would give gun owners 48 hours to report a lost or stolen firearm or be charged with a misdemeanor; another would require firearms dealers to thumb-print and electronically report the names and addresses of those who buy ammunition. “This is going after people who manipulate the system to sell guns illegally,” said Councilman Kevin McCarty.
So far this year, there have been 17 gun-related homicides within the city and 36 countywide. The relative ease in acquiring guns, particularly among the region’s youths, is cause for concern, said Police Capt. Jim Maccoun. Only a sixth of guns used to commit crimes were obtained legally. “We’re trying to head off a common alibi,” Maccoun said. When a gun turns up after a crime, its last known owners will “tell us they don’t know where their gun went, that it was stolen three years ago — when in reality, it was sold to someone on the street.” Similar laws are in effect in such cities as Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Oakland. But whether they reduce gun violence is in dispute. The police department’s own research shows scant evidence of anyone being prosecuted under those laws.