(Memphis) Memphis Mayor A C Wharton is weighing in on how Washington can help Memphis’ crime problem by writing a letter to the vice president.
The Vice President is preparing a report for President Obama on curbing gun violence.
Mayor Wharton wouldn’t share the letter with us, he’s leaving that up to the White House.
However, he was willing to talk about what he said and what he’s requesting they do to help make Memphis safer, “My focus is on those folks who are stealing guns. There's absolutely no legitimate purpose for a stolen gun."
He added, “We ought to have an incentive for all of us to come together when we start dealing with folks who are trafficking in stolen guns. Again, we're highly mobile.”
Wharton wants Washington to give bordering states incentive money if they work together to pull stolen guns off the street.
The former defense attorney also wants help for the mentally ill, like the former Vietnam Vet he once represented whose mother was turned away for help.
“Unfortunately before she could return, he actually murdered a next door neighbor,” said Wharton
Wharton wants help from Washington but he’s not waiting on them, “We're going to have to deal with it locally even if the Feds fall flat on their face. We're still going to have the problem."
Wharton says he will lobby state legislators for stiffer prison time for those caught with illegal guns, even those convicted of just misdemeanors, “The greatest threat to our safety is these illegal guns, the stolen guns out there. We're always going to have crime but it won't be as lethal as it now."
Mayor Wharton distributed a letter to the media that he along with more than 750 other mayors signed.
The letter was a bi-partisan effort entitled “Mayors Against Illegal Guns”.