The Norman Transcript

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March 1, 2013

Police chief attends national conference on gun violence

NORMAN — Norman Police Chief Keith Humphrey drew heat for his attendance at the National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence in Washington, D.C. this week, but the chief was not at the conference to support banning weapons or high capacity magazines.

In Washington Humphrey had a discussion with Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, which was a “very proactive and positive meeting with a lot of open dialogue related to background checks and mental health databases. We also spoke of education being a key to gun safety  and reduction of violence.”

Humphrey’s trip was paid for by the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives.

“I made it clear in advance, my focus was not going to have anything to do with banning weapons,” Humphrey said. “It’s not the law-abiding citizens who are causing the problems,” he said. “I was very specific in what my part on this thing would be.”

He also met with Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, to discuss education and the database. The conference was an opportunity to participate in a national dialogue about gun violence.

“I was asked two weeks ago if I would mind being a subject matter expert to discuss the importance of background checks when purchasing weapons,” Humphrey said.

The conference was a collaboration between nine nationally recognized professional law enforcement organizations  which comprise the  National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence. 

“The main thing is, I made it perfectly clear that my focus would be on the enhancement of background checks for criminals and individuals with mental illness,” Humphrey said from Washington during a phone interview on Thursday. “There’s a national database, but Oklahoma doesn’t belong to that database for the mental illness part of it. I’m not here to discuss a ban on weapons.”

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