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Funding to Curb Gun Violence Available

Tonight 13-million dollars up for grabs--all to combat gun violence. Oneida County is one of the jurisdictions competing for the funds. The focus is on the 17counties that make up 80 percent of the state's crime--not including New York City. Though violent crime is down fire-arm related homicides are on the rise.
Tonight 13-million dollars up for grabs--all to combat gun violence. Oneida County is one of the jurisdictions competing for the funds. The focus is on the 17counties that make up 80 percent of the state's crime--not including New York City. Though violent crime is down fire-arm related homicides are on the rise.
In 2013 there were 13 homicides in Oneida county--most of which involved firearms. And throughout the 17 target counties there were 123 gun violence related deaths.
"Recently there's been a lot of gun-related violence or crimes committed with weapons, we've had numerous robberies, a lot of homicides over the last year," said Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara.
Today he and members of  law enforcement met to discuss "GIVE"--it stands for "Gun Involved Violence Elimination."
Together the agencies are outlining strategies and applying for state funds--to make them happen.
One of the plans--tracking guns--both those coming in from states with lax gun laws, and more importantly stolen guns--so they won't be used in future homicides.
"It's common for that gun to be the gun that had been taken years ago in a burglary," said McNamara.
In another program a person can get 500 dollars for giving information to police that leads them to an illegally-owned gun.
Most of those strategies are aimed at keeping illegal guns off the street but other programs would focus on the youth.
"Youth may not be apt to talk to police or to the public safety but they'll be apt to talk to a group of their peers so that's really what we're trying to focus on," said Delvin Moody of the Utica Youth Common Council and a high school student at Proctor.
If the county's granted funding, McNamara says that's an avenue that will be explored.
"One of the things we'll try to do is direct some positive attention to children who might be more at risk," he said.
His conclusion--fighting gun violence is a monumental task. involving many facets and funding. He's optimistic that Oneida County will get a chunk of the funds. The grants will be awarded sometime in early spring.
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