Bexar Commissioners Set to Approve Gun Safety Recommendations

Bexar County Commissioners today are set to endorse proposals which call for tighter requirements for gun ownership, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Commissioners will discuss and potentially approve a 'resolution in support' of the American College of Surgeons' Committee on Trauma's Firearm Strategy Team.

The recommendations, which were released last month by the committee, which was appointed following the February shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, recommends tightening the requirement for acquiring and owning certain types of weapons.

For example, it recommends registration of all firearms:  

"A firearm should be transferred with registration in accordance to federal law 18 U.S.C. § 922[g][1-9] just as are other properties, such as vehicles or a home. This would include the private sale and the transfer of property that is bequeathed from an estate or among family members.  Recommendation: We support firearm registration and the development and implementation of an electronic database for all registered firearms."

The recommendations also call for any owner of firearms to be required to report the loss or theft of the gun, or face a penalty, potentially a criminal penalty if the gun is subsequently used in a crime.

It also calls for certain firearms to require a license to own: 

"Certain classes of weapons with significant offensive capability are currently appropriately restricted and regulated under the National Firearms Act classification as Class III weapons (fully-automatic machine guns, explosive devices, short-barreled shotguns, etc.)  Recommendation: We recommend a formal reassessment of the firearms designated within each of the National Firearms Act (NFA) classifications. For instance, high capacity, magazine-fed, semi-automatic, high velocity firearms should be evaluated, and consideration given to reclassification as an NFA class III firearm or a new class designation."

The committee also recommends that new technolgies be implemented to make guns safer, including 'palmprint reading technology to prevent anyone other than the registered owner from firing the weapon, and new technology to prevent guns from going off 'accidentally.

'The recommendations also include several social changes, including doing more to fight the 'social isolation and mental health issues' which so frequently are found in mass shooting suspects, and more money spent on research into the nation's 'culture of violence.'

One of the recommendations calls on the media to stop giving 'notoriety' to mass shooters, expecially school shooters.  Research has shown that many mass shootings, including the shooting at Columbine High School in 1999, which is seen as the first of the modern 'mass school shootings' are driven by a desire by the gunman to be 'known and recognized.

"Recommendation: The public, professionals in law enforcement and the press should take steps to eliminate notoriety of the shooter and take an editorially muted approach to the coverage of these events," the committee wrote in its report.

The Commissioners Court endorsing the recommendations has no bearing in law and will not lead to any policy changes at the county level, officials say.


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