By April 29, 2014 Read More →

Charleston officials cite guns-for-drugs trade

 

Charleston Daily Mailphoto by Craig Cunningham A Charleston police officer searches for evidence in near a home on Sixth Street on Charleston's West Side which was the scene of a fatal shooting shortly before midnight Thursday. An 18-year-old Capital High School student was shot in the face by assailants after sitting on a porch with friends.

Charleston Daily Mailphoto by Craig Cunningham
A Charleston police officer searches for evidence in near a home on Sixth Street on Charleston’s West Side which was the scene of a fatal shooting shortly before midnight Thursday. An 18-year-old Capital High School student was shot in the face by assailants after sitting on a porch with friends.

 

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A recent spate of shootings in Charleston is mostly gang-related and part of a guns-for-drugs trade that continues to bring violence to the city, Mayor Danny Jones said.

There have been at least nine shootings in Charleston so far this year, including the murder of a teenager on Charleston’s West Side last week. It was the second killing in Charleston in 2014. Last year saw just one murder.

Jones and other city officials said the shootings that have plagued the West Side in recent weeks stem from a criminal pipeline from larger cities like Detroit into southern states where guns are typically easier to access.

“They blame our gun laws,” the mayor said. “That’s not me talking, that’s them.

“It’s the whole guns-drugs axis we’re involved in here in Charleston. They came here with the worst of intentions.”

From April 1993 to March of this year, Charleston limited handgun purchases to one per month. The law also required a 72-hour waiting period.

City officials scrapped that ordinance last month after state lawmakers passed a bill, a provision of which would allow the carrying of firearms into city-owned facilities and events where children are often present. Officials hoped the move would convince Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to veto the measure.

That didn’t happen. Tomblin signed the bill into law in early March. It greatly reduced the ability of cities like Charleston to control gun sales.

At least nine shootings have happened in Charleston so far in 2014.

Community leaders were planning a public march Wednesday against gun violence…

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