Boston Authorities Focus On Women Who Obtain Firearms For Violent Men


As law enforcement agencies and Boston Mayor Martin Walsh ponder ways to get guns off the street, they are learning that targeting the men who historically have been the primary actors in violent crimes is not enough, reports the Boston Globe. They must also disrupt networks of women who buy and hold weapons for men to use. “We are seeing women with weapons who do not have a direct role in the city's gun violence,'' said Jake Wark, spokesman for Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley. “But they are turning up with firearms that are used in that violence.” Debora Seifert, an agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said she has worked on cases in which women bought firearms for boyfriends who are drug dealers. “These women can go into a gun shop and buy these guns for a violent criminal,'' said Seifert. “They can use these weapons to victimize someone in their communities.”

Police say 11 of Boston's 14 homicides this year have been the result of gunfire, including the killing of Janmarcos Pena, 9, allegedly shot by his 14-year-old brother. Responding to public outcry after Pena's death, Walsh and Police Commissioner William Evans proposed bringing back a revised version of gun buyback programs that were criticized as ineffective, and Walsh unveiled a new safety initiative to better pool the city's crime-fighting arsenal. Nancy Robinson, who heads the antigun trafficking group Citizens for Safety, said cities cannot alleviate illegal gun trafficking without targeting women. “The whole idea is that we have to get to the sources of where the guns are coming from,'' said Robinson. “The women is just one source.”

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