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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Coalition of Police Chiefs Back "Expanded" Background Checks Ahead of Obama Speech

A coalition of nine police organizations announced yesterday that they are calling on Congress to require background checks on all firearm purchases.  From USA Today:
Leaders of nine national law enforcement groups made the call at the annual International Association of Chiefs of Police conference the day before hundreds of police chiefs and sheriffs are to hear from President Obama, who has vowed to be more forceful in his push to bolster U.S. gun laws.

The coalition called on Congress to specifically expand background checks to cover all gun purchases. It also asked Congress to strengthen the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to ensure that all states and federal agencies include disqualifying records in the system.

The coalition also called for increasing the current time that the FBI has to complete a background check before a sale is automatically completed.

Currently, background checks only cover gun purchases made through licensed gun deals, not private sales or purchases made at a gun show.
Chicago police superintendent Garry McCarthy claims that the spike in his city's crime rate is due to the "easy access to guns."  But that is not what FBI Director James Comey told those gathered at the IACP conference yesterday.  From NPR:
....Well, he's doubling down on this notion that he's already floated before in smaller venues that there's - really is what's called a YouTube effect. This is something police chiefs and police talk about quite a bit since Ferguson - this feeling of being under scrutiny that if you make a wrong move or a move that looks wrong, it'll end up as a viral video, and you're going to lose your career - that that fear is driving police to look past potential problems, to not get out of their cars as much and not have the kind of contact they need in communities that good police work depends on.

And here's the contentious thing that he raised. He believes that there's no other explanation that he can see for the current spike in violent crime in big cities around this country. The overall crime rate doesn't necessarily seem to be going up, but big cities are seeing spikes in violent crime - places like Chicago, where I am right now. And he thinks it's the only real explanation here for this simultaneous rise in crime.
Don't look for Obama to talk out the "Ferguson Affect" in his remarks to IACP today.

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