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Officials offer a range of ideas to reduce gun violence in Syracuse

Tom Magnarelli
The south side of Syracuse.

There have been 70 shootings resulting in injuries and 11 in deaths in Syracuse through September of this year. Officials are offering up a range of solutions on how to reduce gun violence in the city.

Syracuse Common Councilor Khalid Bey said shootings in the city often happen over petty misunderstandings. Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler said the gun violence seen in the city is random in nature and a result of irrational thinking. Fowler said law enforcement needs more help from the public in order to prevent gun violence.

“If the police receive full cooperation from the general public, that would discourage the bad guys from committing these acts within certain neighborhoods because they would know that they’re not going to be able to get away with it,” Fowler said.

Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick said a lack of public cooperation is an issue in the city. In an effort to alleviate some of that, Fitzpatrick announced on Wednesday that county residents can now anonymously text law enforcement when they see crime. More information can be found on the Onondaga County Crime Tips Facebook page

In terms of gun violence, Fitzpartick said one part of the problem is illegal firearm purchases.

“The fact is that there are a lot of people that will go to southern states that have lax gun laws, purchase a number of guns and then make a very sizable profit up the iron highway, route I-95, by selling them in New York and eventually they make their way into the streets of Syracuse,” Fitzpatrick said.

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner said she’s been lobbying Congress to pass tougher gun control laws and the gun violence will continue until they do.

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.