Boston City Council considering new ways to curb gun violence

BOSTON — Boston is considering a new strategy to try to curb gun violence. The City Council held a hearing to get public feedback on requiring local law enforcement to put together an annual report on exactly where guns are coming from.

Boston police say they regularly pull guns off the streets. Boston City Councilors are now looking at a new ordinance that would help put what police know about these guns into an annual report.

Council President Ed Flynn and Councilor Brian Worrell, out of District Four in Dorchester, are backing the idea of tracking guns more closely.

”We need to document this and hopefully it can prepare for us and have a better strategy to block guns from coming into Boston,” said Flynn. “Things like where the gun is purchased, if was it used in crime, how it was brought in,” said Worrell.

In a virtual hearing, councilors heard from top intelligence officials in Boston. One Boston Police Superintendent says processing a gun can take about a month because of staffing and some of the details are not public. Boston Police Superintendent Felipe Colon attended the meeting. “Where the firearm originated, including where it was first sold, manufactured, imported, and assembled, we may be restricted in sharing that.”

The Council is also looking to learn more about what are called ghost guns – including 3D printed parts. Boston Regional Intelligence Center Deputy Directory Ryan Walsh explains. “Using a 3D printer to print certain pieces like the sear switch that might modify a regularly produced firearm. I think that is a bigger problem right now and 3D printing is improved each year and it is definitely an increased concern for sure,” described Walsh.

Boston police say just last year they confiscated about 900 firearms and a small fraction were from Massachusetts. Most of them were from 18 other states. The council believes this info will help direct resources to curb gun violence. “Having the data will be helpful to the police knowing where the guns come from. How we can better communicate and strategize that police departments in and around New England and throughout the country,” said Flynn.

Councilors are calling gun violence both a public health and a public safety emergency.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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