MAYOR DESTEFANO & CAGV SPEAK OUT AGAINST GUN VIOLENCE
(4/24/2007) Mayor DeStefano and Police Chief Ortiz Express Support of Bill to Make it a Crime not to report Gun loss or theft within 72 hours
NEW HAVEN- In a press conference today, Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. along side Police Chief Francisco Ortiz and the advocacy group CT Against Gun Violence (CAGV), announced support of a bill that would make it a crime for a gun owner not to report that their firearm was lost or stolen within 72 hours of the incident. DeStefano and Ortiz support this bill as part of the city’s ongoing efforts to reduce crime and take guns off streets and out of the hands of criminals.
“We are determined to continue taking guns off of our streets. But, something needs to be done on the other end to keep guns from landing in the hands of criminals,” said DeStefano. “When a gun is stolen or lost, it can easily end up in the hands of someone who is going to harm our community with it. That’s why I support this bill, if a legal gun owner isn’t reporting that their gun is missing, they are allowing the weapon to make its way into our neighborhoods; that’s unacceptable.”
In Connecticut, it is estimated that half of the guns on the streets were originally purchased legally in the state of Connecticut but made their way into the hands of criminals. An estimated 90 percent of gun-related crimes were committed by persons who were prohibited from having one for reasons of age, past felony convictions, restraining orders or protective orders against them.
“We are trying to go after people who buy guns legally and sell them to people who aren’t supposed to have them. We need to stop the flow of illegal gun traffickers,” said Lisa Labella, co-executive director of CAGV.
The advocacy group CT Against Gun Violence has been working with leaders throughout the state to increase support for the bill and to unite communities against gun trafficking and use. CAGV’s “Where did they get the gun?” campaign, a vehicle to mobilize neighborhoods and community organizations against gun violence, has been launched in Hartford and Bridgeport and is now expanding to New Haven. CAGV will be working with community-based organizations to educate residents about the importance of reporting guns or gun activity to curtail gun violence.
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