DC leaders exploring legislation to battle violence spike

- What can be done to stop the spike in violence in D.C.? Residents are worried and are demanding leaders to come up with solutions to do something about it.

D.C. council members will come back from their summer recess in three weeks and we have learned about several new plans to help police fight crime.

Across the city, D.C. residents are fed up with hearing about so many murders in the city. They made those frustrations known at a community meeting Wednesday night.

Those voices are being heard at the Wilson Building. FOX 5 has learned several council members, as well as the mayor, are working behind the scenes researching and drafting new legislation to help police.

“We are looking for any and all gaps,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser at a news conference on Wednesday. “And one thing that we need to be able to do is search premises where we have high suspicion that illegal guns are on the premises.”

“I would like to have every single gun out of the city -- without question,” Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen told us.

He has seen a lot of violence in his ward and he will support any effort to go after illegal weapons as long as privacy rights aren't violated.

“Of course people have a right to privacy,” he said. “We want to protect that. That is fundamental. But if there is a proposal out there that would look at how we can make sure we get guns off the street and out of people’s homes, than I'm for it.”

Allen said his team is also working on separate legislation to help residents buy video surveillance cameras for their homes and businesses. The idea is to have people actually help keep an eye out for criminals. Allen's plan would make cameras less expensive.

“We've found examples where you can use either incentive programs, a rebate program, you can even look at tax credit programs,” Allen said. “I think we should look at all of those as options because these systems are a little bit expensive.”

We asked the mayor’s office about the proposed gun legislation she spoke about on Wednesday and they said this is something that is being talked about and researched right now. However, no further details were available about this proposal.

But leaders said getting illegal guns off the street has to be a focus.

The D.C. Council is back in session in less than a month and it sounds like much of these plans could be ready by then and don't be surprised if more council members have ideas of their own.

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