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Archive for Friday, January 11, 2013

Kansas gun prosecutions ranked 3rd in nation

January 11, 2013

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The U.S. attorney’s office in Kansas has filed so many firearms cases that the Midwestern farm state ranked third last year among the 93 judicial districts nationwide in the numbers of gun prosecutions, Justice Department figures show.

Only Puerto Rico and the Western District of Texas had more federal gun prosecutions than Kansas in the fiscal year ending September 2012.

Kansas was first in the nation in gun prosecutions in 2011, but fell to third place in 2012 despite prosecutors filing even more cases.

U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom credits the growing number of gun prosecutions in the state to his office urging local law enforcement agencies to refer to federal prosecutors cases of convicted felons who are unlawfully in possession of firearms — even when they do not have enough evidence to pursue other state charges.

Grissom told the Wichita Pachyderm Club on Friday that he told the local agencies, “If they are felons and you can pull them over and they are armed, give them to us and we will cut them out of your community. You can have a huge impact on the crime rate.”

Federal prosecutors in Kansas filed gun-related charges against 447 people last year, up nearly 85 percent from the average of the four previous years. Firearms prosecutions nationwide remained relatively flat during that time, with 11,728 defendants charged last year.

An undercover operation aimed at taking guns away from convicted felons using a bogus pawn shop in Wichita led to federal charges against more than 50 people in 2011. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives seized about 240 firearms, including stolen weapons, guns with serial numbers obliterated, sawed off shotguns and guns with silencers.

Grissom’s tough-on-crime talk got a friendly reception from his Republican audience.

“I never hunted pheasant with a silencer,” Grissom said, eliciting laughter from his listeners. “That is the kind of guns we were able to bring in.”

Fighting gun violence and protecting the safety of law enforcement officers are among Justice Department priorities, he said.

Most of the Kansas cases involve felons with firearms or firearms used in the commission of other crimes such as drug trafficking.

But a massive firearms trafficking case that Grissom didn’t talk about at the presentation highlights the far-reaching reach of gun investigations in Kansas.

In that case, 12 people are charged with conspiracy to buy firearms at gun shows in Kansas and Oklahoma and to then smuggle the weapons to Mexico, Nicaragua and Guatemala. Some of the weapons also were also allegedly unlawfully sold to convicted felons and illegal immigrants, according to court documents.

Comments

hedshrinker 1 year, 3 months ago

as the final paragraph demonstrates, we need to close the gunshow loophole and demand background checks for all gun sales,set limits on high quantity ammo sales and why is nobody talking about body armor and tightening internet sales? I

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Outsidelookingin 1 year, 3 months ago

Kontum, First, I'd like to thank you for your service to our country. I also returned in 1973, March 3rd. (some dates you can"t forget) I respect you view and reasoning for not wanting to own firearms. On the other hand, I went the other way, and feel I have earned the right to own a gun and protect my family should the situation ever arise. Welcome home

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notaubermime 1 year, 3 months ago

Great job by Grissom! You got to love someone who excels at their job, especially when their job is making the world a safer place.

With so large of numbers (especially in such a small population), you have to wonder whether there isn't anything that can be done to also go after those who sell the guns to criminals and/or tighten the loopholes that these criminals are exploiting to get guns without a background check.

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Brock Masters 1 year, 3 months ago

What a concept, enforce existing laws to make us safer. Bad guys have no right to own guns and will only commit crimes with them so kudos to the good guys for getting them off the streets.

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Kontum1972 1 year, 3 months ago

when i came back from vietnam back in 1973....my taste for weapons was over. I have never owned a weapon since then and i still do not care to ever own one, when u see your friends get blown up too pieces and what remains of them is put in a body bag to be shipped home to mom and dad, that pretty much stops any desire to own one, but too each his own after watching some of those people on TV yesterday from the U-Tube videos esp that one nut with the Mohawk and the British automatic rifle saying he was ready to kill anyone if they came to take his stupid gun.....these are the ones we do not want to have these weapons. This moron had issues and i am sure that very soon he is going to be on the news after killing someone...or a lot of people........Guns don't kill people........crazy people kill innocent people.

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patkindle 1 year, 3 months ago

I think this is great and the police should be applauded for Keeping armed felons off the streets. However, a lot of states have more Armed felons than Kansas , why are they not utilizing this law?

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electric_ohm 1 year, 3 months ago

Dear California and Illinois, Kansas pretty much leaves law abiding citizens alone when it comes to guns and goes after the CRIMINALS. The prpsecution of criminals with guns actually removes danger from the streets, not giving gift cards for family herilooms.

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Hoots 1 year, 3 months ago

This is the type of activity that truly makes all of us safer. This should be a bigger priority nationwide as it keeps police and us safer.

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James Minor 1 year, 3 months ago

Great comment, "I've never hunted pheasants with a silencer". Hopefully, Kansans will extend the concept to "I've never hunted pheasants with an assault rifle or a high capacity magazine". Right now it is convicted felons and with the right gun laws we should be able to catch others that have the potential for harm to others.

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edjayhawk 1 year, 3 months ago

I can see the NRA filing a lawsuit even thoug it won't stick.

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Al Deathe 1 year, 3 months ago

Good work, at least one gun was removed from the streets on each case!

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JJE007 1 year, 3 months ago

"far-reaching reach"

Get ready for it.

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GUMnNUTS 1 year, 3 months ago

I think this is something we ca all agree upon. Keep up the good work.

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