GOP lawmaker says US headed toward 'Mexico model' on gun control

"U.S. cities are moving toward the Mexico model. Chicago and Washington, D.C., have laws that make it very difficult for a citizen to exercise the Second Amendment."

But he said Chicago and Washington — along with Mexico — are examples of why stricter gun control does not work.

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"All three places, Mexico, Chicago, Washington, D.C., all have a reputation of violent unsafe places. Why? Because they are."

Poe said a better approach for cities would be using a 1997 law that allows tougher sentences for criminals that use guns. He said Richmond, Va., tried this in a plan called Project Exile, in which the city and state cooperated with the federal government to have criminals using guns tried in a federal court, which allowed longer prison terms in a federal prison.

Using that plan, Richmond went from being among one of the worst cities in the country for gun violence, to seeing a 97 percent drop in homicides after just a few years. Poe said Richmond's experience shows it's better to focus on people committing crimes, not wide restrictions on gun ownership.

"Maybe violent cities like Chicago, Washington, D.C., should look at Project Exile and hold criminals accountable for the violence that they commit, and not be misguided by some who continue to assault the Second Amendment, and not punish criminals," he said.

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