SHOREWOOD BOARD SUPPORTS ‘SMART GUN’ MOVEMENT
SHOREWOOD – Less than a week after 17 people were killed in a horrific shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the Shorewood Village Board signed on to a national movement promoting “smart gun” technology.
The Shorewood Village Board on Monday, Feb. 19, unanimously approved a resolution in support of the Do Not Stand Idly By campaign, which encourages leadership within the gun industry to create safer guns and safer distribution channels.
As part of the resolution, Shorewood will also add its name to a request for information being submitted to major manufacturers. The request for information will ask for specific information on the companies’ safety technologies and distribution practices.
The resolution also calls for the village to test and evaluate “smart guns” and other emerging firearm technologies, as they become available, to encourage their acceptance.
The Do Not Stand Idly By campaign was initiated by the Metro Industrial Areas Foundation, the nation’s oldest and largest institution for professional organizing in the United States. Common Ground is Milwaukee’s local IAF affiliate and has been working locally on the campaign since 2015.
The campaign seeks to encourage innovation in the gun industry by leveraging municipal, state and national purchasing power of firearms.
“Forty percent of gun purchases every year are made with tax dollars: 25 percent from the U.S. military and 15 percent from local and state law enforcement,” said Rob Ater, pastor at Immanuel Presbyterian Church and one of Common Ground’s leaders. “As a citizen who’s very concerned about gun violence in America, I want my tax dollars to be used in a positive way to put pressure on gun manufacturers to take responsibility for their products.”
Leaders of the Do Not Stand Idly By campaign hope to push gun companies to increase their focus on developing smart technologies so that guns and their accessories might one day be usable only by those authorized to use them.
One example of such a product is a biometric trigger lock box that unlocks when the authenticated user places their fingerprint on the sensor.
They also hope the industry will work with municipal leaders and law enforcement to identify “bad apple dealers,” the small percentage of gun dealers responsible for the majority of crime guns in America.
With passage of this resolution, Shorewood joins a network of leaders from 123 jurisdictions nationwide who are part of the Do Not Stand Idly By campaign.
The organization has received support from seven Wisconsin leaders, including Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, Wauwatosa Mayor Kathy Ehley, South Milwaukee Mayor Erik Brooks, Madison Mayor Paul Soglin and Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber.
The Shorewood board’s resolution was suggested by resident Rod DePue, a member of Common Ground.
“The Parkland shooting wouldn’t have been prevented with smart guns, but suicides, gun thefts and child injuries certainly would,” DePue said. “I’m proud of my village board for going on record supporting such action.”
After the board’s vote, Shorewood Trustee Tammy Bockhorst thanked the volunteers working on the campaign.
“We are a small part of many looking to encourage gun manufacturers to find improvements and innovations in gun safety and technology,” she said. “Gun safety should include constant efforts to make firearms safer and to eliminate access to people who are most likely to misuse them.”
Jeff Rumage for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal