Posted by lex, on August 5, 2008
Municipalities concerned about violent crime rates in their communities and dismayed at the Supreme Court finding in Heller that cements a public right to legal gun ownership would be wise to point themselves towards Richmond, Virginia for a dose of common sense. The capital legislature of the Old Dominion teamed with local, state and federal law enforcement to 1) enact, and 2) vigorously prosecute strict laws concerning the criminal possession and use of firearms. Violent crime in what was once the country’s third most dangerous city has dropped over 50%. By 2007, Richmond had dropped off the list of the top 25 most dangerous cities. This in a state with some of the most liberal gun ownership laws * in the country.
Before Project Exile began in 1997, Richmond had the third-highest murder rate in the nation, according to Federal Bureau of Investigation statistics. Guns were the weapons of choice. That year, then Deputy Assistant U.S. Attorney James Comey and Assistant Federal Prosecutor David Schiller promised 100% prosecution of gun crimes. They ran television and radio ads. A 40-foot city bus was emblazoned with the message: “An Illegal Gun Gets You 5 Years in Federal Prison.” Bail was unlikely, parole nonexistent, and inmates facing federal time were more likely to be sent to prisons out of state.
Imagine: Enforcing laws against the criminal use of firearms rather than the law-abiding ownership of them.
What a concept.
** Link changed 03/19/18 – Ed.