© 2024 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Fighting 'Streetsweepers': Attack On Killing Machines

machine guns and sawed-off shotguns are attention getters at K.C. Police HQ. The 'streetsweeper\" is a shotgun that fires fully automatic.
file photo
machine guns and sawed-off shotguns are attention getters at K.C. Police HQ. The 'streetsweeper\" is a shotgun that fires fully automatic.


After a weekend in which three people were killed by guns in Kansas City and another seven were shot, the police department becomes centerpiece for Mayor Mark Funkhouser's efforts to be part of the more than 320-member bipartisan group of mayors nationwide committed to getting illegal guns off the streets.

Fifty-two of the 54 murders that have taken place in Kansas City this year have been carried out with firearms, Chief Jim Corwin said, adding : "Being part of Mayors Against Illegal Guns will reinforce our city's commitment to getting these guns out of the hands of criminals and will help provide us with resources to do so." One of the stated ojectives of the mayors' coalition is "to oppose all federal efforts to restrict cities' right to access, use and share trace data that is so essential to effective enforcement, or to interfere with the ability of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to combat illegal gun trafficking."
Merriam, Kansas Mayor Carl Wilkes joined the co-op fight two years ago. In retrospect, he says, in front of the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department main offices:

"I call Merriam the gateway to Kansas City and so, while they come over here sometime to commit the crime, they come back to my community to live, and we're all in this leaky boat together, folks."
Kansas City Councilman Alvin Brooks has one of the most controversial ideas:

"With the epidemic proportion that we've reached, maybe ACLU will join the police department and see how we can make a more concentrated effort stopping cars where persons driving those cars are suspects of other violent crime." Doing that might change decades-long engagement rules of probable cause.

All the time, Kansas City's Mayor is speaking to defuse the idea that this is all an attack on second amendment rights. In the mayor's words, " That's ridiculous."

KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and award-winning podcasts.
Your donation helps keep nonprofit journalism free and available for everyone.