Top Area Law Enforcers Could Be Divided Over President’s Gun Plan

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“It is not up for debate,” NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas stressed Wednesday afternoon while responding to President Barack Obama’s gun control plans.  Serpas says he supports all of the President’s ideas.

Serpas says people need only look to New Orleans’ murder scenes to see the gun problem in the city.

“And you see 10, 20, 30, 40 of the cones.  That is a military style assault weapon that was used to kill someone,” Serpas said while describing the cones that are used at crime scenes to mark the locations of shell casings from fired cartridges.

The President’s plan calls for bans on what are typically referred to as assault rifles as well as extended magazines.  Congress would have to pass legislation for both bans much as it did during the Clinton administration and its assault weapon ban.

But the President also signed 23 executive actions that will require no action from the congress.  They include plans to strengthen background checks and to conduct more research on gun violence.

While other top law enforcement officials in the New Orleans area agree with the background checks and research, they may not stand with the president on banning some firearms or magazines.

“I’m a collector.  I have a number of guns,” Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand said during a recent news conference.  Normand went on to say that nobody should have machine guns and there should be no loopholes in background checks.

But as a gun collector, Normand stopped short of solely blaming guns for the country’s violent crime problems.  With poverty, ignorance, drugs, and other problems, no single plan will prevent violent attacks.

“Many more societal issues than just the notion of a gun,” he said.

The NRA and many members of the congress are also against portions of the President’s plan.  The NRA promises a thorough battle and claims it has gained more than 250,000 new members in the past month.

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