Police Chief, Judge react to toughening gun laws - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Police Chief, Judge react to toughening gun laws

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President Obama proposes background checks on everyone who purchases a firearm. Criminal District Judge John Stevens and Beaumont's police chief agree with the background check proposal.

Judge Stevens says there is a fine line between a responsible gun owner and irresponsible gun owner. He says responsible gun owners have a natural instinct of protection.

"People want to protect themselves and what's wrong with that? Guns have always been a tool; certainly a cultural tool in Texas," he says.

Judge Stevens says irresponsible people should not possess firearms.

Chief Jim Singletary agrees saying while restrictions need to be placed on availability of assault weapons, he doesn't think it will take them completely off the streets.

"They (criminals) aren't concerned about going and buying from somebody. They're going to steal it or buy it in an underground. There are too many guns and firearms on the streets right now. So, it's easy for these criminals to get guns," says Chief Singletary.

One of Chief Singletary's main concerns is that guns are being brought onto school campuses. He feels there now needs to be better funding to protect children.

"You have to have police officers at schools, metal detectors, surveillance video, locked entrances and a plan. Kids, parents, teachers and the principal all need to know that plan," he says.

While protecting is one thing, prosecuting new laws is another. Judge Stevens says the court system will be ready.

"Prosecutors are ready, willing, and able to prosecute these cases," he says.

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