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Port Chester Police Chief: Time is Right for Assault Weapon Ban

Efforts on-going to ensure safety of local schools.

In the wake of President Barack Obama's call for a ban on military-style assualt weapons, Port Chester Police Chief Joseph Krzeminski said he agrees with the proposed ban.

Krzeminski also said that police in Port Chester and Rye Brook are working closely with school officials to ensure the safety of local schools in reaction to the deadly Newtown, CT, shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

On the issue of assault weapons - such as the AR-15 used in the Sandy Hook incident to kill 20 students and six adults - Krzeminski gets right to the point.

"There is no reason for a civilian to have an assault weapon," Krzeminski said. "It's not a hunting weapon."

As a law enforcement officer, Krzeminski said the danger to the community from assualt weapons outweighs any threat to Second Amendment freedoms.

However, Krzeminski said his experience has taught him that banning assualt weapons would only be one of many steps necessary to prevent mass shooting tragedies such as Sandy Hook. Krzeminski said he supports efforts to prevent bullying and to identify trouble youths as necessary to help avoid similar incidents in the future.

Krzeminski said discussions are on-going with Port Chester and Rye Brook school officials determine necessary security measures.

In Port Chester, the police department does not have any school resource officers — cops who are specifically assigned to spend time at schools. Nor does Port Chester does not have a DARE program, in which police officers work with fifth-graders in an anti-substance abuse education program.

Krzeminski said that because of staffing reductions, the police department no longer has a full-time youth officer assigned to deal with incidents specifically involving children and teenagers. At its high point, the Port Chester Police Department had 67 officers, with 57 at recent low points.

The department now has 59 officers - with two new officers hired and currently in training.

Here are the key parts of President Obama's proposals to curb gun violence:

  • Closing background check loopholes to keep guns out of dangerous hands
  • Banning military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and taking other common sense steps
  • Making schools safer
  • Increasing access to mental health services

These are measures President Obama is calling on Congress to pass as soon as possible:

  • Eliminating loopholes and requiring background checks for all gun sales
  • Reinstating the prohibition on high-capacity magazines
  • Renewing and strengthening the ban on assault weapons
  • Creating serious penalties for gun traffickers
  • Getting armor-piercing bullets off the streets by prohibiting the possession and transfer of this dangerous ammunition
  • Keep 15,000 cops on the street
  • Further research on gun violence
  • Help schools develop and implement comprehensive emergency management plans
  • Removing restrictions that require ATF to authorize importation of dangerous weapons simply because of their age

Here are the 23 executive orders Obama signed to fast-track some efforts:

Closing background check loopholes

1. Require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system

2. Address unnecessary legal barriers that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system

3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system

4. Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks

5. Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun

6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers

Steps to reduce gun violence

7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign

8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission)

9. Require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations

10. Release a DOJ (Department of Justice) report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement

11. Nominate an ATF director

12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations

13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime

14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence

15. Direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies

16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes

17. Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities

Making schools safer

18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers

19. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship, and institutions of higher education

Increasing access to mental health services

20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover

21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges

22. Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations

23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health

Augusta Regalia March 07, 2013 at 03:51 AM
Oh yeah - re 6 - the little town in Georgia has been analyzed by legitimate statisticians and the facts are different from the NRA would care to know: ^ Hemenway, David (2006). Private Guns, Public Health. Ann Arbor, Mich: University of Michigan Press. p. 65. ISBN 0-472-03162-7. "...a careful analysis of the data did not show that guns reduce crime." ^ Squires, Peter (2000). Gun culture or gun control?: firearms, violence and society. New York: Routledge. p. 82. ISBN 0-415-17087-7. "Later research, however, found no reduction in Kennesaw burglary rates when the figures were re-examined over a longer time period."
Don March 07, 2013 at 04:57 AM
Hot burglaries exceed 50% of all burglaries in England, compared with the mid-teens in America. That 50%+ figure is epidemic. Again, all burglaries in England are nearly double the US rate per capita. So how many stories in that regard have you seen in the American media? As for the crime rates perpetrated in America by illegals, search for it yourself. The feds keep the numbers, but the phony media stay away from that. Why? Because they are in the tank for amnesty. The stats for rapes prevented by guns is available. The story of the pol in Colorado was big news, well, mentioned and then swept under the rug by the big media. Google it. It was viral in the alternate media. There's more than one place in America with gun requirements. And who is to say who a 'legitimate statistician' is, hmm? Others, just as 'legitimate' have found different.
Augusta Regalia March 07, 2013 at 12:31 PM
weak Don ... alternate media is often dishonest media- your kooky gun nut websites will always find a sponsor at the NRA willing to right a check for them to exercise their free speech rights. That money from the NRA comes from the weapon producers who are hell bent on arming you and everyone else who believes that more weaponry makes us safer - if that's who you chose to listen to and trust for accuracy, then I guess you're not seeking answers but justifications for your prejudice. Unforgunately, our society is allowing you to remain ignorant because it is your right - and as you've shown us - you think that your rights are more important than mine...sigh
Don March 08, 2013 at 03:42 AM
So you resort to silliness in the end, eh. Alternate media was merely where the Colorado pols remarks went viral, as I posted, but Google it. AP had the story. Your point is no point at all when you smear alternate media, which merely used the story that main stream media reported. Resorting to the phrase "kooky gun nut websites' also exposes your lack of comprehension and bias. So please do not try and spin my original post. The stories regarding the burglary rates in England are from traditional news sources, and I never said otherwise. And your rights? What right of yours, that is in the Constitution, is being infringed? You're not required to own a gun in PC, don't want one, don't own one. And you never commented on the article about the feds arming themselves as they are. The sources are legitimate. But ignorance being bliss, you are indeed very blissful.
George Colaluca March 24, 2013 at 01:59 AM
The worst mas murder in Port Chester was the Gulliver's fire 27 people died do we ban gasoline. The point is criminal and crazy will find other ways to kill people be it fire a bomber, fire, or suicide bomber they always find a way. As we must find a way to stop them

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