APD to develop plan to curb gun violence - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

APD to develop plan to curb gun violence

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Austin police are putting together a plan, outlining ways to cut down gun violence.

Chief Art Acevedo says part of the plan includes education, teaching gun owners to secure their weapons properly, especially since burglaries are an issue in Austin.

The Chief says, just last week, we saw a suspect rob an armed guard, shoot at three people, and kidnap a driver, using a gun that didn't belong to him.

Mark Fruge was charged with three counts of attempted capital murder, aggravated robbery, and aggravated kidnapping.

Education also includes teaching parents to secure firearms from children. If they don't and a child gets injured, parents could face a class a misdemeanor.

"Every year in this country, we have kids that sadly end up getting seriously injured or killed as a result of firearms not being secured by a parent or an adult in the home," Chief Acevedo said.

Once the plan is finalized, it may suggest increasing gun buyback programs. The department and the Greater Austin Crime Commission have held a few of these already. The proposal could also see funding requests.

Right now, the Austin Police Department's Gun Unit is swamped with illegal gun cases. Many are federal and take a lot of time.

Police say with more officers, they could actually conduct more proactive measures, like undercover operations.

"We're short, we're short at the police department, we're very lean," Chief Acevedo said.

The Chief is expected to give that plan to the city manager by the end of the week. He says a philanthropist asked Marc Ott how they could help the police reduce gun violence.

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