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Can Local Regulations On Firearm Sales Stop Gun Violence?

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According to comparative data collected by the City between 2017 and August 1, 2018, San Antonio has experienced a 26 percent reduction in gun-related crimes in the last year. 

The City attributes this progress to targeted efforts by SAPD's Violent Crimes Task Force and the Texas Anti-Gang Program. Now officials are considering more local measures to help reduce incidents of gun violence in the area. 

Last week, the Council's Public Safety Committee presented initial recommendations, which will be up for further review before the measures can advance to a full council vote.

One of the proposed regulations includes a new zoning classification to outline areas of the city where firearm retailers can operate, with the goal of avoiding the sale of guns near schools, parks and places of worship.

The committee also suggests working with Bexar County on the magistration process, so judges may consider prohibiting the possession of weapons for defendants out on bond, especially for cases involving family violence.

Lastly, the committee refers to five proposals suggested in Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's plan for enhanced firearm safety in the city's package for the 2019 legislative session. These recommendations include the mandatory reporting of lost and stolen guns, as well as further research into the possibility of implementing a "red flag law." 

These measures, particularly the suggestion targeting firearm retailers, are the subject of contentious debate regarding state vs. local preemption laws and overall effectiveness.

Are measures like gun free zones enough to curb potential violence in San Antonio? What else can cities do to prevent danger related to firearms? 
 
Guest: William Cruz Shaw, San Antonio City Council representative for District 2 and chair of the public safety committee

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Jan Ross Piedad Sakian is TPR’s News Operations Producer. In this role, she develops strategy on collaborative and digital initiatives for the station. Since 2016, Jan Ross has served in a coordinating capacity for TPR’s state and national partners, including The Texas Newsroom.