City Examines Its Authority to Restrict Gun Violence, Promote Safety

The City of San Antonio is studying ways that firearm violence can be reduced in the city by regulating guns inside the city limits, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

City Attorney Andy Segovia says anything the City does must be regulated by the Second Amendment, as well as the Texas Local Government Code, which says 'a municipality may not adopt regulations relating to the transfer, private ownership, keeping, transportation, licensing or registration of firearms, ammunition, or firearm supplies.'

But Assistant City Attorney Ed Guzman told Council's Public Safety Committee that there are areas where the city can regulate guns, like in city zoning laws.

"We could create a special zoning requirement for firearm sales," he said.  "We don't currently have that in the UDC." (Uniform Development Code)

Councilman John Courage said the city can restrict the sale of liquor within a certain distance from a school, so it should be able to restrict firearms sales.

Guzman said another area where the Could act is in making not possessing a firearm as a condition of release on bond from municipal court.

He says the City could also use its procurement process to restrict lucrative city contracts, many of which go to local firms, to companies which demonstrate gun safety.

Police Chief William McManus says one area that the City should not look into is 'gun buy backs,' where the city uses tax money to buy guns from private citizens in an attempt to get them off the streets.

"I have been doing gun buy-back programs since the mid eighties, and the result of all the gun buy-back programs is they really do nothing to reduce gun violence," McManus said.

The Council will consider a resolution on the issue following its summer break.

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