Suzanne Potter / California News Service
LOS ANGELES – On Wednesday June 1st, a day when a murder-suicide shooting shut down UCLA, and one day before National Gun Violence Awareness Day, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to have LAPD work with a nonprofit to identify “bad apple” gun dealers who sell the majority of guns used in crimes. Los Angeles will now become the only city in California to trace gun sales in this manner.
District 2 City Council member Paul Krikorian said the information will help police make better use of the purchasing data they already collect.
“LAPD acquires trace data but we don’t have the manpower, we don’t have the reporting process to compile that into data that can be used in making policies regarding the source of these guns,” he said.
The city now will look to fund a study run by researchers with a company called Crime Gun Solutions, which just performed a similar study for Chicago, a city notorious for its sky-high murder rate.
Krikorian said that study found that fully 90 percent of the Windy City’s illegal guns came from just four dealers.
“In three of the four cases, by targeting the attention on these gun dealers, they changed their practices and started hewing much more closely to the law,” he added.
Los Angeles reported a 199 murders in 2015 and has a storage locker crammed with 5,000 to 8,000 guns seized during criminal investigations.