Support for Firearms Offender Registries

WHEREAS, the reduction of firearms-related violent crime has been and continues to be a major goal of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP); and WHEREAS, innovative methods that can increase officer safety have been and continue to be sought by the IACP; and WHEREAS, the latest crime statistics show murders jumped in the United States 4.8 percent and overall crime is up 2.5 for the year, marking the largest annual increase in crime since 1991; and WHEREAS, of March 5, 2006, 33 law enforcement officers have died in line-of-duty deaths over the same period in 2005, when 23 officers made the ultimate sacrifice (“Line-of-Duty Deaths Increase in 2006,” The Police Chief, May 2006); and WHEREAS, studies have shown that firearm offenders have a higher recidivist rate for committing other firearms-related violent crime with firearms than sexual offenders; and WHEREAS, a sexual offenders registry established by law enforcement agencies within each state has shown to be effective toward tracking such offenders and preventing future crimes; and WHEREAS, initiating a registry, similar to the sexual offenders registry, for offenders who have been previously convicted of a felony firearm violation or a misdemeanor that involved violent or threatening acts with firearms would have great benefit at little cost toward preventing and investigating a myriad of violent crimes, as well as establishing a computerized list of dangerous offenders that could be utilized as a notification system to alert officers of potential danger; now, therefore be it RESOLVED that the IACP recommend the creation of a firearms offenders registry for every state, and make this recommendation known to its members and other law enforcement organizations; and be it FURTHER RESOLVED that the IACP present Congress with our recommendation that it also enact a federal firearm registry of firearm offenders, similar to that of the present federal sexual offenders registry; and be it FURTHER RESOLVED that the IACP present state and local authorities with our recommendations that states also enact a firearm registry of firearm offenders, similar to that of the present sexual offenders registry, and that state and local law enforcement resources be increased, enabling participating agencies to gain the maximum benefit from the firearm offender registry and an electronic alert of such offenders’ names to encountering officers; and, be it FURTHER RESOLVED that the IACP present Congress with our recommendation that additional funding sources be found at the federal level to assist state and local law enforcement agencies in maintaining sufficient resources for enactment in every state of a firearm offenders registry and electronic alert of offenders’ names to encountering officers; and be it FURTHER RESOLVED that the Governing Body of the IACP present copies of this resolution to all IACP members.