St. Pete councilman to propose gun control measures - FOX 13 News

St. Pete councilman to propose gun control measures

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(MyFox file photo) (MyFox file photo)

This coming Thursday, St. Petersburg City Councilman Steve Kornell plans to start a discussion he believes is a step in making his city safer.

"The discussion we need to have is, what can we do to remove illegal guns from the streets of St. Petersburg?" he said.

Kornell wants to add gun control measures to the legislative agenda. One of the big ones, he says, is reinstating the assault weapons ban.

"I just want to stress I'm not trying to take people's guns away, with the exception of military-style assault weapons, but I think there's a discussion to have," he said.

Kornell tried a similar move a year and a half ago, but it didn't go through. In the wake of the Newton, Connecticut shooting, however, his push may see new life.

Meanwhile, in Hillsborough County, Commissioner Kevin Beckner has his own plans. He wants to start an annual gun buy-back program where people can turn in their guns, no questions asked.

Coincidentally, next month, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office will hold its own gun buy-back. It is unrelated Beckner's pitch, but is in response to the Sandy Hook school shooting.

"The criminals are out breaking into houses, breaking into vehicles and taking guns. That way, these guns that would end up in the street end up in the sheriff's office," said Lt. Chad Chronister.

In December 2011, the Tampa Police Department held a gun buy-back that snared around 1,000 guns.

Some experts say gun buy-backs are really nothing more than a public-relations move, though. A 2004 study by the National Research Council called them "badly flawed," for several reasons.

The report said:

  • Criminals aren't likely to turn in their guns, and the weapons that are turned in are the least likely to be used illegally
  • The guns that are turned in tend to be old, malfunctioning guns whose resale value is less than the offered reward
  • People who have spent hundreds of dollars on a gun are unlikely to turn them in for $50 to $100, a typical amount offered in gun buy-back's.

Still, some say every little bit helps.

"If we can keep one gun off the street, then it's a huge success," Lt. Chronister said.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office gun buy-back is scheduled for February 2.


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