Most Active Stories
- Here Is What It Looks Like When Traffic Engineers Design Highway Signs
- Trying To Free Up 95 Express, FDOT Prices 'Lexus Lanes' At Lamborghini Rates
- Six Films At This Year's Miami International Film Festival You Must Not Miss
- From Scorched Earth To Palm Beach: The Maya Are Coming To Florida
- See Historic South Florida Through The Lenses Of Miami Herald Photographers
Tue February 18, 2014
Miami-Dade Mayors Rally Behind Plan To Control Gun Industry With 'Market Forces'
Firearms makers will have to make sure their products stay out of the wrong hands under a new gun control approach that's already taking root in Miami-Dade County.
It's a gun-control-by-market-forces program that unites the buying power of local governments against gun violence. Former journalist Casey Woods and her organization, Arms With Ethics, devised the program and persuaded 14 local governments to come aboard. They'll participate by being picky about where they buy their guns.
"Local law-enforcement departments spend more than a billion dollars a year on guns and ammunition every year," Woods says. " If local governments act collectively, they will have tremendous power to encourage the gun industry to adopt common-sense best practices that keep guns out of the hands of criminals."
To qualify as bidders on a police gun contract, gun makers would have to show how they keep guns out of the hands of ineligible or mentally ill owners or how they spot straw buyers. They'd have to show that, gunwise, they are good, corporate citizens. Coral Gables Mayor Jim Cason says most of them will get the message.
"If you don't cooperate with us," says Cason, addresing a hypothetical gun manufacturer, "if you don’t help us keep guns out of the hands of criminals, we're just not going to spend our tax dollars with your company."
Closing off a handgun market to all but the most virtuous manufacturers requires no legislation and creates no obvious political targets, but it may take a while to show results. According to Arms With Ethics, using market forces creates a long game for gun control.
The Florida Roundup