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Mayor Jackson pushing for new gun legislation

James W. Wade III | 6/25/2014, 3:01 p.m.
Limiting Firearm Purchases to one per person every 90 days. No person shall purchase or otherwise acquire more than one ...

Last week, Mayor Frank G. Jackson held a press conference to talk about the gun violence in Cleveland. Mayor Jackson outlined a broad and bold legislative agenda that, if enacted by Cleveland City Council, will help Cleveland Police crackdown on gun-related violence in the city, particularly violent crimes committed by convicted felons.

“Despite the hard work of the Cleveland Division of Police and their law enforcement partners, we continue to face situations where convicted felons are using guns to murder, rob and assault people in our community,” said Jackson. “I want Cleveland Police and our city prosecutors to have as many ways to address this problem as they can and this legislative agenda will help get us there.”

If you remember, the Call & Post talked about this in the June 4th issue when Greater Cleveland Congregations (GCC) talked about their plan. In an interview with Rev. Jawanza Colvin and Donna Weinberger, they talked about the various stages of government they plan on asking for help. Federal, county and local law enforcement leaders agreed to meet no later than June 30th.

Jackson has directed the city’s Law Department to craft a legislative agenda that includes new laws, incorporates existing state code gun regulations into Cleveland’s municipal code and reenacts the city’s gun regulations that are permitted under state law.

It is a comprehensive overhaul of the city’s gun regulations and will be presented to Cleveland City Council next month.

“Dealing with the issue of gun violence is a top priority for Cleveland City Council,” said Councilman Matt Zone, chair of the Public Safety Committee. “I look forward to holding a number of Safety Committee hearings to have a thoughtful conversation around gun laws and the steps we can take as a city to curb gun violence and save lives within our neighborhoods.”

Cleveland Police have taken more than 9,000 firearms off the streets of Cleveland since 2006 through a variety of gun suppression initiatives and day-to-day police work. VGRIP, a multi-agency partnership, targets gun violence in particular. So far this year, VGRIP alone has taken more than 90 guns off the streets of Cleveland.

“This legislative agenda will give our police officers the clarity they need to enforce appropriate gun laws in the city and give us tools to crack down on the sale and trade of guns to convicted felons,” said Police Chief Calvin D. Williams.

Part of this new legislation included

A Gun Offender Registry. Anyone convicted of a gun offense will be required to register with the police within 48 hours of sentence or release. The registration will include identifying information, including name, addresses of residence, work, and school, drivers’ license or ID card, and description of offense. Within 20 days of the one year anniversary of the initial registration, the offender must personally appear before the police to verify and update the registration and be photographed. If confined during the 20 day period, the offender must appear within 48 hours of release. The offender must stay on the registry for four years after the initial registration.