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Local Governments Turn Up The Heat On Gun Companies, Push For New ‘Smart Gun’ Technology

NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — You could call it gun control without legislation. Local governments that buy handguns for their police departments are asking, as customers, for a change in the way that gun makers do business.

As CBS2’s Lou Young explained, the gun on a New Rochelle cop’s hip is a Glock semi-automatic. When it’s time to replace the weapon though, that just might change, depending on the attitude of the gun maker.

“We want to use the power of the market place. The power of the free market,” New Rochelle Mayor, Noam Bramson explained.

“We’re saying to Glock, embrace new technology to make guns smart. That only the persons legally responsible to use that gun can use it,” New Rochelle Police Commissioner, Pat Carroll said.

Carroll said that the technology exists and is on the market.

Glock and six other gun manufacturers are being targeted by a coalition of police departments, municipalities, and clergy members to help start dealing with the gun violence problem.

Smart gun technology that locks the weapon to unauthorized users is one avenue. The other is tracking inventory; 59 different jurisdictions are asking gun companies to produce distribution records.

“Since July we’ve taken 21 illegal handguns off the street and that’s troubling,” Chief Richard Conway, Port Chester Police Department, said.

Locally the multi-state effort entitled ‘Do not stand idly by’ was announced in the city, in Bridgeport, and in New Rochelle in an area that’s seen five shootings in recent weeks. The heartbreak of gun violence is everywhere.

“If we had smart guns no one could’ve operated that gun without the right identification,” Nathaniel Adams said.

Adams’ nephew was killed in a gun accident.

Rev. Mary Ann Wilkins lost her nephew to a Yonkers drive-by in May.

“My brother’s life will never be the same. His mother’s life will never be the same,” she said.

The Coalition of Gun Customers said that it got a warm reception from the people at Sturm-Ruger Arms in Connecticut, but the cold shoulder from Baretta and Glock, two of the most popular police and military handguns in the country. No one responded to a call for comment from CBS2.

Military and police gun purchases make up almost half of the $11.7-billion firearms industry in the U.S.

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