Balto. Co. police chief joins White House gun control discussion

Chief James W. Johnson has spoken in favor of gun control, chairs the National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence

December 20, 2012|By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun

Baltimore County Police Chief James W. Johnson was among law enforcement officials from around the country who met with Vice President Joe Biden at the White House Thursday to discuss ways to curb gun violence.

President Barack Obama this week announced plans to make gun control a top priority during his second term, following the Connecticut school shooting last week. The incident left 28 dead, including 20 children and the gunman.

"The President is absolutely committed to keeping his promise that we will act, and we will act in a way that is designed -- even if, as he says, we can only save one life, we have to take action," Biden said at the meeting.

Johnson, who is chairman of the National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence, and Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz on Monday called for state and federal measures that would strengthen background checks for gun buyers and stop the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

At that meeting, Johnson referred to gun violence as "a public health epidemic" and called for more access to mental health care services.

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