Mayor's Deciding Plan To Rid Illegal Guns
The City of Omaha is close to implementing plans to get illegal guns off our streets. The mayor has been looking at the recommendations for months and, in January, he'll announce which ones he feels would work in Omaha.
UNO Professor John Crank was part of the Illegal Gun Task Force which was formed in March. He says knowing the mayor has taken a thorough look at their recommendations makes him hopeful they can turn around the gun problem.
"We have to do something and we will continue to do something and at some point we'll get it right. And I think this might be it," Crank explained.
In September, the task force made about 100 recommendations. They included more gun buy-backs, hiring another gang specialist, better tracing of illegal guns, harsher penalties for repeat offenders, while misdemeanor offenders go through specific programs. Plus, they want agencies to work together better to change the culture.
“We've got to find some way to find out the source of these weapons, and what we can do to change the behavior and that's tough because you can't legislate behavior," said Omaha City Councilman Garry Gernandt, who was also on the task force.
Members we spoke to say it is vital to have better cooperation between city, state, and federal agencies to make the plan work at all.
"All of the partners have to work in a sustained way for an extended period. If a partner falls out of it then the programs fall apart," Crank described.
Starting January 7th, the mayor's office will announce which recommendations it wants to implement for the Illegal Gun & Gang Task Force. Also in January, they’ll announce plans from the recommendations of the Landlord Task Force.