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Police chiefs weigh in on gun control battle

Ramsey of Philadelphia and Kelly of New York are fans of President Obama’s plans.

Joining key figures such as Attorney General Eric Holder and television commentator Al Sharpton in support of President Barack Obama’s call for tougher gun control legislation at the Old Executive Office Building Wednesday were the players the administration seems to be counting on a lot in the coming battle in Congress: chiefs of police.

From small towns to major cities such as New York and Philadelphia, many of America’s “top cops” were a presence at Wednesday’s session. Two of them spoke to Human Events and made it clear they were going to be on the Obama team in the gun control fight.

READ MORE: Obama announces 23 executive actions on gun control

“We need universal background checks and we’ve got to come to grips with this thing called the Internet,” said Charles Ramsey, police commissioner of Philadelphia and past police chief of Washington D.C. “It’s not enough when you allow the kind of loopholes we have (to purchase weapons and ammunition online).” Without greater regulation of the Internet, Ramsey added, tougher gun control “is hopeless. Nothing’s going to change.”

When Human Events reminded Ramsey that his predecessor, 1960’s Police Commissioner (and later two-term Philadelphia Mayor) Frank Rizzo, used to say that the most effective law enforcement was done at the local level, the present Philly commissioner replied: “That’s right. But the steps that are taken by the federal, state, and local officials must be translated into action at the local level.”

Ray Kelly, now the longest-serving New York City police commissioner after 13 years, told us that he did speak to Vice President Joe Biden’s staff on a variety of points and said a “comprehensive national strategy” was needed for stronger gun control in the U.S.

“You can have strong laws in one state, such as we have in New York, where we confiscated 90 percent of the weapons that came into our state from other states,” Kelly said, “but you also need the national laws as well.” He added that he specifically agreed with the resident on a universal background check for gun owners, a ban on assault weapons, and stronger measures to limit gun trafficking.

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John Gizzi has come to be known as â??the man who knows everyone in Washingtonâ?ť and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on whatâ??s going on in the nationâ??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as â??Gizzi on Politicsâ?ť and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of â??Gizziâ??s America,â?ť video interviews that appear on Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. Johnâ??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com