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    Gun Tracing Programs Are Effective and Critical to Solving Gun Crimes

    By Rebecca Kaplan, Oakland City Councilmember At-Large–

    Gun tracing is an integral part of our ability to solve gun crimes. We know shutting down illegal sources of guns is essential to stopping the danger of gun violence in our communities. If you shut down the illegal gun dealers and you shut down the sources of illegal guns, there won’t be gun crime. Unless you are going after the guns, you are not taking violent crime seriously.

    We need a systematic way to be going after the guns and shutting down the illegal gun dealers.

    In 2018 during our mid-cycle budget, I fought for and won money for a police crime analyst to exclusively focus on gun tracing. And in the 2019–2021 budget that passed unanimously in June of this year, we added just over a million dollars over the biennium to address the backlog of homicide cases in Oakland. We know our gun tracing programs are effective and critical to solving gun crimes.

    This is why I was surprised to see that the Administration had submitted a proposal to cut some important and needed City services, including gun tracing. The report submitted stated: “Freezing of 2.0 FTE Crime Analysts in the Crime Analysis Section and 1.0 FTE Criminalist II in the Criminalistics Section will result in delays in the processing of evidence in crime investigations. Specifically, the freezing of these positions will slow OPD’s ability to examine and trace firearms recovered in connection with crime.” 

    We must learn from known data. Gun tracing and shutting down sources of illegal guns are essential to stopping the danger of gun violence in our communities. Oakland must not cut these vital efforts, and I will continue to fight for our community to reduce gun violence.

    Councilmember At-Large Rebecca Kaplan was elected in 2008 to serve as Oakland’s citywide Councilmember; she was re-elected in 2016. She also serves on the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC). Follow Councilmember Kaplan on Twitter @Kaplan4Oakland ( ) and Facebook ( ).

    Published on December 19, 2019