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PROVO — Provo's police chief is speaking out about steps to prevent gun violence and tragedies like the one in Connecticut earlier this month.
Chief Rick Gregory said conversation about trying to stop gun violence is needed and involves many steps.
He pointed out that overall the country is experiencing a reduction in crime, but some individual cities are experiencing an increase. He said he feels the key is not as simple as putting laws in place but also controlling who has access to guns.
"It's broader than just, ‘Are we going to reenact a law that restricts folks from buying certain types of weapons?' I think the real issue here is keeping guns out of the hands of people who shouldn't have guns. I think the real issue here is stopping the violence," he said.
He also said background checks should be considered for all gun sales, even private sales. And he believes gun violence should be prosecuted aggressively.
I think the real issue here is keeping guns out of the hands of people who shouldn't have guns.
–Chief Rick Gregory
"I'm advocating we do more to prosecute those criminals who have committed crimes with a gun in our community, if we have to take it through the federal system where the penalties are stiffer," he said.
The chief also said rules should be put in place to keep guns out of the hands of people with certain types of mental illnesses. He favors resource officers in schools to work with students and to provide intelligence on low level crimes before they become big crimes.
The chief said it may be impossible to stop all violent crime, but if everyone works together and guns are kept out of the hands of people known to commit crime, it will help.