Local Police Chiefs Weigh In On Gun Violence

This week, Patch.com checked in with Lynnfield and Wakefield police chiefs to ask for their thoughts on the current debate over stopping gun violence.

Public officials from President Obama to Governor Deval Patrick to local state representatives are stepping forward to offer new proposals aimed at curbing gun violence these days. To gain some local perspective, this website checked in with Lynnfield Chief of Police David Breen and Wakefield Chief of Police Rick Smith.

The president’s gun control proposals include things like background checks, a ban on high-capacity ammunition clips, and a renewal of the federal assault weapons ban that expired a few years ago.

Chief Breen said that he had not fully reviewed the gun control proposals from the White House, but he expressed support for the assault weapons ban and also noted that the current proposals can only do so much.

“I think most people in law enforcement feel that there should be some legislative restrictions on this type of weapon,” said the Lynnfield Chief. “That being said, because of the manner in which the weapons were obtained, these laws if enacted already would not have deterred the Newtown shootings.”

Firearms Info For Lynnfield

The chief also replied to an inquiry from Lynnfield Patch about the number of gun permits in town. There are reportedly 579 active licenses to carry (LTC) in the town, and 104 active Firearms Identification Cards.

In 2011, Lynnfield reportedly issued 144 LTC cards and 34 Firearms ID cards. In 2012, that figure came in at 119 LTC cards and 15 firearms ID cards.

In a separate interview Wakefield Police Chief Rick Smith emphasized that one of the most important approaches to gun violence is the issue of mental illness. He reported that local police can only see if a gun applicant spent time in a state psychiatric facility – not a private or out of state one.

In the interview, Smith also said that the current gun control proposals in the news would not have prevented the Newtown shootings, largely because of the killer’s utter determination to commit mass murder.

In Lynnfield, Breen concurred with his Wakefield colleague.

“I agree with Chief Smith,” said Breen. “I believe there needs to be better information sharing between states. However, that probably wont happen unless there is a federal mandate because each state has vastly different laws regarding gun ownership.”

Citizen X January 20, 2013 at 01:29 AM
Bruce, the "taking away vehicles because people have died iin car crashes" might be the dumbest argument ever. A vehicle, in and of itself, is a device used to transport people and goods. A gun, in and of itself, is a device used to kill things in the most efficient manner possible. I don't necessarily think that a ban on assault weapons or even high capacity magazines is the solution, but your argument is moronic.
Nikki January 24, 2013 at 04:19 PM
Sorry, Citizen X, a gun, in and of itself, is a way to protect yourself.
William Laforme January 24, 2013 at 06:18 PM
Comment deleted for profanity even if it did have a couple of little "*" in place of the actual letters...
Citizen X January 24, 2013 at 07:53 PM
Nikki, you are mistaken. A gun is a device used to kill in an efficient and effective manner. It is an object. It is not a "way" of anything.
marc bowlen January 29, 2013 at 05:43 AM
The people need their guns, bushmasters, and magazine clips to defend their homes from the government when they send their cowboys that will try to take them when the people can no longer afford to be extorted with phony mandates (unconstituitional taxes healthcare mandates) and other schemes that the government will mandate to us in the future) the magazine clips will be needed to return fire to those who try to enter the peoples homes under the color and authority of law to take the properties for failing to pay these unconstitutional mandates! but the government will return with tanks to murder women and children in their property just like the feds did in Waco,TX in 1993. The people need to arm themselves to the max!


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