AUSTIN (KXAN) - Austin Police are working on a plan for combating gun violence. It's focused on keeping weapons out of the hands of the wrong people—felons or the mentally unsound.
Austin is comparatively a safe city in America when it comes to gun violence, but Chief Art Acevedo says the department still could do more. He says while the nation debates gun control, and he and his force can be more proactive.
He wants to present a plan to city leaders outlining ways to better protect the public. The first part of that plan is educating gun owners.
"We have a tremendous problem with burglaries," Acevedo said, "Too often, that's the way criminals get their hands on guns."
Education would include how to keep homes and cars safe by properly securing guns to prevent a potential burglar from gaining access to a firearm.
The second part of the plan is expanding gun buyback programs. Acevedo says they've been successful in the past.
"A lot of folks have firearms at home, and they are getting up in age or they have small children or they don't feel comfortable having them," Acevedo said, "That is a safe way to dispose of them."
The third part of the plan the chief outlined is beefing up police enforcement. For instance, he says people go to gun shows, make a legal purchase, but don't stop there.
"People knowingly go out and buy firearms for people that they know have no business having them; people that legally can't possess them," Acevedo said.
Still fleshing out the details, Chief Acevedo hopes to get the plan to city leaders in the next week or two and show the recommendations to the city manager.
Of course a price tag would ultimately come with the plans, but Acevedo says various philanthropists and others have already reached out to APD asking, "How can we help?"
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