Commentary: Can't Stop Guns Without Congress

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, August 17, 2007

One of the Sacramento gun ordinances makes it a misdemeanor for owners to fail to report the theft of a gun within 48 hours. The other requires those who sell ammunition to fingerprint buyers and keep an electronic record of their names and addresses. To be honest, I don’t think either will do much to stop gun violence.

People and guns travel. Unless lawmakers make gun control a priority everywhere, a crackdown in one jurisdiction won’t do much good.

The real impediment to effective gun control is Congress. Four years ago, Congress made it illegal for police to share information about gun trafficking trends with other police agencies. Mayors and police chiefs fighting an up tick in violent crime across the country want that law repealed. But a House committee approved a bill to keep the dangerous law in place. And a Senate committee went even further, passing a bill that makes it a crime for a cop in one city to share illegal gun sales data with a cop in another city.

It seems it’s the gun traffickers who hold sway in Congress, not beleaguered residents of crime-riddled communities across America who deserve better.


Ginger Rutland writes for The Sacramento Bee opinion pages.