By Alex Cameron, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Gun violence is the focus of a report released this month by a group of the nation's mayors. The report, from the group Mayors Against Illegal Guns, looks at which states many of the guns used by criminals come from.
This coalition is made up of primarily east and west coast big city mayors, but does include Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor. Their report suggests weak gun laws in states like Oklahoma are contributing disproportionately to gun crimes in other states.
The report, "The Movement of Illegal Guns in America: The Link between Gun Laws and Interstate Trafficking," analyzed trace data supplied by the ATF and determined that 57 percent of the guns recovered from crimes in 2007 came from just ten states.
Co-chair Michael Bloomberg of New York, said in a statement: "Our analysis shows quite clearly that states that are the top sources for crime guns have weak gun laws."
Metro gun range owner Miles Hall said all the group is interested in is grabbing headlines and making it harder for law-abiding citizens to protect themselves.
"I've always found it silly that they think that by creating more and more laws, on top of laws that we already have, that somehow that's going to make the bad guys follow those rules. Bad guys don't follow the rules to begin with," said the H & H Gun Range owner.
The report doesn't put Oklahoma in the top ten illegal gun exporting states, but in the top 20. The report also suggests that many illegal gun purchases are made at gun shows in states like Oklahoma where background checks aren't required.
"That is possible, that is certainly possible that that can happen," Hall said.
But Hall said it's a very small number, and the solution isn't further restricting access to guns. He believes restrictions are the real problem.
"You think about all these shootings that have happened, they've all happened where gun control laws are the worst--or the strictest, if you will. We call it worst, but the strictest, if you will. And the bad guys know that all the private citizens are unarmed," Hall said.
Mayor Bloomberg said the report bolsters the group's push for what they call common sense gun laws that would not place any undue burden on citizens, and would not infringe on any law-abiding citizens' second amendment rights.