Some in LE support gun control E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

According to a recent article out of San Diego, law enforcement leaders are clearly divided when it comes to federal gun control proposals. While many high-ranking local law enforcement officials have been crusading against what they perceive as tyrannical government overreach, others are expressing support for the President’s suggestions.

“I was pleasantly surprised when I heard him take a comprehensive approach,” Carlsbad Police Chief Gary Morrison told reporters. “I liked the way he talked about the medical community and the impact of video games on kids, and money to law enforcement and schools to craft emergency response plans.”

The President has said he supports things like stronger background checks on gun buyers and wants to get funding for more school security officers. He’s also said he would like to see Congress restore an expired ban on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.

“You could not find a bigger supporter of the president than myself today,” San Diego Police Chief Bill Lansdowne told reporters when asked for comment. “It makes my officers safer and it’s going to make the community safer.”

And while it’s easy to get the impression that this is a chief versus sheriff type deal, some sheriffs are also supportive of the fledgling proposals even if they stand a snowball’s chance in hell of making it through the Senate, let alone the House of Representatives.

Sheriff Bill Gore said he backs a requirement that states take part in a federal gun registration database.

“One-quarter of felony convictions aren’t in the database because it’s voluntary for states to participate,” Gore said. “The challenge will be getting mental health records in it.”

Gore said he hopes the country can have a healthy debate over the Second Amendment.

“No one’s saying take away all the guns,” the sheriff said. “We want the right people to bear arms. But unless you do comprehensive background checks, how do you determine who the good guys are?”

Sheriff Gore went on to say that if Congress refuses to ban assault weapons, he would be satisfied with banning magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.

“The only way Congress is going to do it is if they feel pressure from their constituents,” Gore said.

Chula Vista Police Chief David Bejarano went as far as saying that said most people in law enforcement welcome the measures the president is proposing.

“We’ve seen a significant increase in mental health calls for service,” Bejarano said. “That’s probably the biggest gap in systems we see. The only law enforcement option is to put them in custody. It’s in the hands of our elected officials in Washington, D.C. I hope they do the right thing.”

But what the “right thing,” to do is murky.

Chief Morrison said he doesn’t agree with banning assault weapons.

“If we’re doing background checks properly, they shouldn’t get into the wrong people’s hands,” Morrison said.

“To a lot of people, it’s a sport, target shooting. It’s in our culture to shoot weapons.”

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