Austin police chief discusses local solutions for gun rights


by KRIS BETTS / KVUE News and photojournalist DEREK RASOR

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Posted on January 29, 2013 at 11:11 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 29 at 11:21 PM

AUSTIN --  Police Chief Art Acevedo said Austin is the third safest city in the nation when it comes to violent crime, but gun issues here still need to be addressed, beginning with responsible owners.

“If you're going to have a firearm in your house, know that we have a tremendous problem with property crimes in the city of Austin,” Acevedo said.

Which is why Acevedo hopes to soon implement a public information campaign encouraging gun owners to protect their property.

“There's a lot folks can do to make sure that the weapons that they have don't end up in the hands of others by not being careless and securing them in their homes and vehicles,” he said.

Acevedo said the purpose of his meeting in Washington, DC was not to take away rights from responsible gun owners, but to limit access to weapons for criminals and the mentally unstable, beginning with background checks at gun shows for all sellers, public and private.

Currently, private gun sellers are not required to run a background check at gun show events.

“Making sure it's registered firearm dealers that are handling these transactions is a win for everybody,” said Acevedo.

Acevedo said the goal is to avoid more drastic legislation in the future by taking practical measures now.

“If we don't take pragmatic, good steps to do better, that fear they have that someone's gonna take our guns away may come true,” Acevedo warned.

As a believer in the Second Amendment, he said that’s a situation they hope to avoid by being proactive in the national discussion on gun control.