Chiefs Urge U.S. Focus on ‘Local Public Safety Crises’

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A day after President Trump threatened to “send in the feds” if Chicago can’t get a grip on its gun violence problem, a new report by two leading police groups says most cities already receive federal assistance to combat violent crime, and that federal government resources and personnel are broadly welcomed at the local level, reports The Trace. The report from the Police Foundation and the Major Cities Chiefs Association includes a series of recommendations that puts it at odds with the gun lobby and its allies in Congress and the White House. (It is discussed in The Crime Report today by former Justice Department official Thomas P. Abt.)

The police groups call for an expansion of background checks to cover all gun purchases, a ban on high-capacity magazines, the repeal of a National Rifle Association-backed amendment that severely restricts the federal government’s ability to share data about guns used in crimes, and increased federal funding for gun violence research. The report urges Congress to pass a federal gun-trafficking law that includes penalties for straw purchasing; an increase in the budget for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and making investigation tools, like ballistic imaging, more widely available to local law enforcement. The recommendations are a result of a months-long examination by the Police Foundation and Major Cities Chiefs Association. “The federal government must re-prioritize violent crime and public safety as primary concerns, focusing attention on local, public safety crises,” the report says.

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