Baltimore County Police Chief Urges Congress To Pass Tougher Gun Control Laws

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Christie Ileto joined WJZ's News Team in the fall of 2012. She was...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The call for action to toughen the nation’s gun laws heats up.

As Christie Ileto explains, Baltimore County police brass is at the center of the debate.

Curb gun violence.

“Victims are being riddled by multiple gunshots,” said Baltimore County Police Chief James Johnson.

That’s the message Baltimore County Police Chief James Johnson takes to Washington, urging Congress to pass tougher gun laws.

“Like assault weapons, high capacity magazines are not used for hunting, they don’t belong in our homes,” Johnson said.

Johnson represented the National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence–telling Congress the streets are more dangerous.

“I’ve seen an explosion of fire power,” he said.

Proponents of tighter background checks for gun buyers and the banning of some weapons argue this will reduce shootings. Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who survived the Tuscon Town Hall Shooting in 2011, echoes a similar plea for change.

“Violence is a big problem. Too many children are dying. Too many children! We must do something,” said Giffords.

President Obama has been pressing Congress to act following both the Newtown massacre in Connecticut, and the Aurora Theater shooting in Colorado that killed 12 and injured 58.

“We need to be honest about what works and what doesn’t,” the president said.

But groups like the National Rifle Association say we should focus on strengthening school security and mental health resources, not using tougher gun control laws to stop a criminal from those who won’t follow the rules anyway.

“And when it comes to background checks, let’s be honest. Background checks will never be universal because criminals will never submit to them,” said Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the National Rifle Association.

Wednesday’s Congressional hearing is the first on gun control since President Obama’s proposals to toughen gun laws.

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