DC Steps Up Campaign Against Gun Violence

A pivotal Second Amendment case comes before the U.S. Supreme Court tomorrow when its members hear oral arguments in District of Columbia, et al. v. Dick Anthony Heller, which challenges the District of Columbia's handgun ban. DC Mayor Adrian Fenty and Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier aren't waiting for the decision, however -- on March 12, they started a three-phased public safety initiative for the spring and summer months.

Phase One is GunStat, described as an information sharing effort among local law enforcement agencies that will track gun gases from arrest to prosecution and allow the agencies to identify repeat offenders, follow trends, and create strategies to prevent gun-related crimes. Phase Two, the Safe Homes Initiative, starts March 24. It asks parents and guardians to admit foot patrol police officers into their homes to search for weapons without risk of an arrest. If weapons are recovered, they will be tested and destroyed if not found to be linked to any other crime.

Phase Three is an anonymous, toll-free crime tip line, 888-919-CRIME, that will be staffed by detectives 24 hours a day, seven days a week. "We have been working for some time with our law enforcement partners to come up with more ways to combat gun violence," Fenty said. "Chief Lanier has already made strides with her community policing initiative, and these programs will provide even more tools to help our police officers do their jobs in fighting crime in the city."

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