Gary mayor: Straw gun purchases must end

2013-04-17T16:00:00Z 2013-04-17T23:37:03Z Gary mayor: Straw gun purchases must endLu Ann Franklin Times Correspondent
April 17, 2013 4:00 pm  • 

Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson repeated her stand on the need to eliminate straw purchases of guns to arm gangs and others during Wednesday’s White House Hangout with Vice President Joe Biden.

Freeman-Wilson was one of four mayors invited to participate in a virtual conversation on common-sense steps to reduce gun violence.

“Relative to Indiana, there are gun shows and a lot of activity in those parking lots,” she said. “It is easy for people from Illinois to come here and buy illegal guns through straw purchases, and they are using them in Chicago,” Freeman-Wilson said.

Biden said that is a loophole that needs to be closed because “a minimum of 2,000 to 5,200 gun shows sell thousands of guns that require no background checks.”

All four mayors also talked about attending funerals for victims of gun violence in their communities.

Freeman-Wilson called attending the funeral of two brothers several weeks ago “the most heart-wrenching thing I’ve ever done.”

Brothers Shaqwone Ham, 19, and Charles Wood, 18, were gunned down the afternoon of March 17. The killings happened during a botched robbery, police said.

The other mayors participating were Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, mayor of Baltimore; R.T. Rybak, mayor of Minneapolis; and Steve Scaffidi, mayor of Oak Creek, Wis.

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