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Cincinnati mayor takes aim at illegal guns

Mayor John Cranley to embrace Mayors Against Illegal Guns initiative

March 15, 2017
WLWT: Cincinnati

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley said he will stand with hundreds of other U.S. mayors, including nearly 60 in Ohio, who have said enough is enough when it comes to illegal guns. He made that clear in the hours after police say convicted felon Damion McRae shot officer Kenneth Grubbs.

During a news conference to discuss the shooting, WLWT investigator Todd Dykes asked the mayor what he could do to help keep guns out of the hands of criminals.

"We're going to be bringing in the ShotSpotter, which is this technology that will also help us pinpoint exact locations when shots are fired," Cranley said. "And we will be rolling out, at that time, a major signing ceremony about Mayors Against Illegal Guns."

Dykes investigated the ShotSpotter system in January.

But the initiative called Mayors Against Illegal Guns is a new idea at Cincinnati's City Hall. "It's not a partisan issue," Michele Meuller said. "It truly is a public safety issue." 
Mueller, of Harrison, is with an anti-gun violence group called Moms Demand Action.She said she's met with Cranley and that he supports efforts to restrict access to illegal guns."It's all about, you know, collective voices," Mueller said. "And a mayor's voice is very powerful."

Some gun rights advocates oppose the Mayors Against Illegal Guns platform, which calls for background checks on all gun sales, including online sales and those done at gun shows. But the region's top prosecutor said he's pleased with Cranley's efforts. "We need to be intentional about how we deploy our resources, both police work and prosecution," U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Ben Glassman, said.

Glassman pointed out his office is already working with the city to deliver harsher penalties for people who illegally use guns. "We're trying to make people think twice before they pick up that gun," Glassman said. "We know they can get guns on the street. And the question is whether or not somebody's going to think twice before they do it?"

A spokeswoman for Cranley told Dykes it's not clear yet which portions of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns platform Cranley will pursue. More details are expected to be released when the plan is rolled out, which may happen some time next month.

The Mayors Against Illegal Guns initiative was launched in 2006 by then New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino.