Tue February 5, 2013
Public Safety Commission Recommends Gun Control Measures (Updated)
Update: Austin’s Public Safety Commission voted unanimously Monday to send a resolution to local leaders aimed at reducing gun violence.
The resolution encourages the Austin City Council, Travis County Commissioners, the Austin Independent School Board and Austin Community College to stop leasing facilities for gun shows—or to require those shows to conduct background checks.
The commission also wants local law enforcement to hold gun buyback programs and to collect data on guns used in crimes.
Original Story (Feb. 4, 3:03 p.m.): The city's Public Safety Commission has a full docket tonight.
The commission plans to discuss a broad swath of measures, including a potential audit of the city's EMS department, traffic fatalities and even a suggestion to curb gun violence in Austin.
The commission will finalize details of the EMS audit. Critics have accused the agency of mismanagement and dogged the department in recent months, spurring a city audit of the department. Administrators defend their record, citing a lack of qualified EMTs for the decline in productivity.
Austin police will present the commission with a collection of traffic fatality data in 2012. In addition, officers will offer suggestions to the commission on possible improvements to the city code to curb traffic deaths. The City Council recently funded an external study of the traffic fatalities.
There were 78 pedestrian fatalities in 2012. In 2013, there have been 10 pedestrian fatalities so far, which is 5 more than this time last year, according to APD.
The final, and possibly most contentious item on the commission’s agenda is a recommendation to reduce gun violence in Austin. Last week, Police Chief Art Acevedo encouraged gun owners to keep firearms safe and secure and suggested possible background checks for both public and private weapon sales.
In addition, the commission will discuss the cost of possible police patrols of 24-hour hike and bike trails around Austin.
The commission will meet today at 4 p.m. at City Hall.