Exclusive Interview Chief Flynn on guns on the street
Five minutes, that's how long it take to get a gun on the street, according to a reformed felon who opened up to us about gun violence in Southeast Wisconsin. After 54 homicides in Milwaukee this year, CBS 58 investigated how people are getting guns on the streets.
"Guns exchange hands like money."
After serving time, "I'm a two time felon," and now reformed, "it's an epidemic it's bad," Endel williams works with at risk youth and worries about easy access to guns.
"I could get a gun in five minutes."
He says the issue is third party sales. In Wisconsin you can sell to a neighbor, friend, or stranger, without the buyer ever going through a background check..and it's legal. But he says criminals know it's an easy way to get a gun.
"It's fairly easy there's really no background check to see if you want it you buy it."
He says the men he works with get guns from social media, straw purchasing, where a friend with a clean record buys a gun for a felon, or gun classified sites.
"I've never even heard of a gun with 500 rounds and laser beams and "squeeze this," for $450 a person can do a lot of damage with that."
The battle to control gun violence is ongoing for Police Chief Ed Flynn.
Chief Flynn says, "Between now and September if I am keeping at the current rate of homicides I'm looking at another 50 or 60 dead people."
Flynn sat down with us to discuss the lax gun laws.
"Current law says if you're a felon you can't get the gun permit, but if you're the other kind of career criminal with say 4 convictions and 15 arrests, sure you could have a gun permit. And they're getting them."
He says it's not about taking away gun rights.
"The more I try to narrow this discussion about armed criminal offenders the more I hear about second amendment rights for law abiding citizens. The two have nothing in common. That's why it's so desperately important that reasonable people watching shows like this understand what I'm trying to convey. I want sanctions that incapacitate criminals and deter them from re-offending, I don't have them."
Simply put, Flynn has one request to lawmakers-- "I'm asking you for help."
Bills have been proposed, like assembly bill 138, requiring background checks for third party sales.
So it begged this question of why didn't it get voted through?
State Rep. Mandela Barnes says, "It didn't even receive a committee hearing."
Records show lobbyists for the state's largest cities supported it including Milwaukee, and Madison but the NRA did not, and two republicans, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Representative Joel Kleefish removed the bill.
Kleefisch says his biggest concern is protecting second amendment rights and he believes criminals will get a gun despite a law.
"Anybody who wants to get a gun, background check or no background check will get a gun. Someone who has a criminal intent, they're going to find a way to do it."
But you won't convince Chief Flynn or our reformed felon, who say, we need another look at gun laws.