Wichita has guns on the streets, both legal and illegal. Now the chief of police says it’s time to do something about the illegal guns, as well as gun violence.
“We’re seeing a significant amount of gun violence,” says Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay. “Double the amount of aggravated assaults since 2012. That’s most often involving firearms.”
Ramsay says he wants to get a study done to see why. He wants a commissioned study with a local college or university.
“We need facts and research. Opinions are very strong on both ends,” said Ramsay. “What we need are facts and not emotion to make decisions.”
One lawmaker says she is gathering support of Republicans and Democrats to make some changes to laws to help curb gun violence.
State Senator Oletha Faust-Goudeau, a Democrat from Wichita, says she supports gun rights. But she says too many guns are being used in violent crimes and there is a problem that needs attention.
“We’ve got to do something. This is alarming. People are fearful, people are over-reacting,” says Faust-Goudeau. “I support the second amendment the right to carry and protect yourself but with that responsibility we need training for those that don’t know how to use that handgun.”
The Senator says she would start with the need for training for those who carry a gun.
And she wants something done about people with mental health issues who have access to guns.
Meanwhile, the chief says, police do what they can out on the streets and in the administration.
“We deal with people with guns all the time and I don’t think that’s something the general public knows. Throughout the day our officers are dealing with many, many, many armed people. But the overwhelming majority are doing so legally and we don’t have any issues, no problems with it,” says Ramsay. “But there just simply are a lot of guns out there and I think we’re seeing it. There’s two to three road rage incidents ( a week in Wichita) where there’s pointing and aiming incidents.”
The chief says not everyone may see an in-depth study as the answer to gun violence. But he says it’s going to be a crucial part of the solution moving forward.
“The one thing that society needs to know is that police can’t solve everything,” says Ramsay. “Right now (it seems) all of society ills are falling on the backs of our cops and it’s not fair. We can’t solve every mental health issue, every gun violence issue. This is a societal issue and it takes much more than the cops to resolve the things we are seeing in society today.”