« AnteriorContinuar »
1934. Several of the precincts were consolidated at that time, and I think the consolidation lasted about 3 years, but there was a lot of complaints from citizens who wanted the precinct in their neighborhoods. And I am speaking now as a retired member of the Department and not speaking for the Police Department. I would feel that consolidation of the precincts would not be a good thing to do.
Mr. ADAMs. Now, I want to try to-do you believe that the increase in crime rate is caused-I gathered from your testimonyalmost solely by the effect of the Mallory rule, the Miranda and Escobedo decisions ?
Chief MURRAY. I think that has a very big effect on the amount of crime. In other words, the criminal knows that he can commit a crime and if he is picked up, sit tight. He can't be questioned unless his attorney is present. I don't think any attorney is going to advise his client to incriminate himself in an offense that would perhaps send him to the electric chair, or send him to prison for several years. I don't think any attorney would do that.
Mr. ADAMS. Now, isn't it a fact, as you mentioned, that the predatory criminal, that basically he has been aware of the fact he doesn't have to say anything for a substantial period of time, and simply does not?
Chief MURRAY. A great many did not, even when we could question them. But a great many would talk if given an opportunity to talk.
Mr. Adams. So, in other words, we got a division within the criminal community in terms of those who actually won't talk in any event; isn't that correct?
Chief MURRAY. I think as to your hardened criminal, experienced criminal, it is going to be pretty hard to get him to talk under any circumstances.
Mr. Adams. I don't know whether you had an opportunity this morning to hear the testimony of Mr. Taft on, in effect, a stop law which would allow you to stop and ask questions. In effect it is an investigative detention. Would you support that type of concept?
Chief MURRAY. I didn't hear anyone testify. I just came from the dentist about 2 minutes before I arrived in the room.
Mr. Adams. Are you familiar with the New York stop-and-frisk law?
Chief MURRAY. Only what I read in the papers about it.
Mr. Adams. Do you think we should have in the District a gun control for short arms such as is similar to the Sullivan law in New York?
Chief MURRAY. I don't think the Sullivan law has cut down crime in New York,
Mr. Adams. Statistically, the chief there says that it has. But I won't argue statistics. I am just asking you whether or not you think it would be a good thing to have in the District.
Chief MURRAY. Not the Sullivan law, no. They have laws on the books now, the National Fire Arms Act, which I gave to Mr. Whitener when I was still in office and he used it at a hearing which provides that where a crime is committed by one while armed, the criminal can get 5 years additional for the first offense, and it runs up to 30 years.
Mr. Adams. In other words, there are additional penalties.
Chief MURRAY. Yes, penalties. But they are not used. Mr. Adams. Do you think there should be a gun registration-type law for concealed weapons in the District of Columbia ?
Mr. WHITENER. If I may interrupt, there is such a law now in the District of Columbia. You have to have a permit to carry a concealed weapon
off your premises, under the present law. Mr. AdaMs. Would you describe how that works? Chief MURRAY. Yes, it provides for a permit for a period of 1 year that is given by the Chief of Police, and after investigation of application-but I don't think there are many people in the District of Columbia who have permits to carry a pistol.
Now, when I was Chief of Police until 2 years ago last November, I think there were less than 30 permits, no, there were 27 at that time, sir.
Mr. Adams. Do you think we should strengthen that now in terms of being able to purchase and have available concealed weapons ?
Chief MURRAY. I'm not so strong for more concealed weapons. That's why we kept the number down. Unless a man had a real reason to carry a gun he wasn't given a permit. In fact, a great many applications were turned down. But I do feel that law-abiding, responsible businessmen should be permitted to have a gun in his premises, and I think the homeowner should be permitted to have a gun in his premises.
Mr. Adams. Absolutely. So if-in other words there would be no problem in saying, all you would have to do is have a permit and you could have a gun at home for your protection, for whatever reason you want.
Do you think we ought to have—the police should have power to arrest, on misdemeanors, such as assault, certain of the attempts, housebreaking, robery and so on, without having to go and get a warrant?
Mr. SULLIVAN. Yes, sir. I think in certain serious misdemeanors that they should have that right.
Mr. Adams. I have no further questions. Mr. WHITENER. Chief Murray, under title 22, section 3206, of the District of Columbia Code, it is provided that the head of the Police Department may, on application of any person having a bona fide residence or place of business in the District of Columbia, or any person having a bona fide residence or place of business within the United States and a license to carry a pistol concealed on his person issued by the lawful authorities, issue a license to such person to carry a pistol within the District of Columbia for not more than 1 the date of issue, if it appears that the applicant has good reason to fear injury to his person or property, or has any other proper reason to carry a pistol, and that he is a suitable person to be so licensed.
Then it provides that this license shall be issued in duplicate in a form prescribed by the Commissioners. It states the type of information to be contained on the license, and that the orginal shall be delivered to the licensee and a copy retained by the Police Department for a period of 6 years.
So that seems to take care of that.
Mr. Adams. It there some penalty? Or what happens if he doesn't get it. He just carries it.
Mr. WHITENER. There is a penalty.
, Mr. Chairman. Mr. WHITENER. The violator shall be fined not more than $1,000 and imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both (title 22, sec. 3215).
Mr. Adams. Is that for carrying a concealed weapon in the District ?
Mr. WHITENER. No, that's a different statute. That's not what you asked me about. You asked be about a license. We do have a concealed weapons statute which I referred to yesterday. I believe that's title 22, section 3204. It provides for punishment of not more than 10 years.
Mr. Adams. Is that for carrying a concealed weapon? That's what I'm trying to get at.
Mr. WHITENER. Well, I'll read it:
No person shall within the District of Columbia carry either openly or concealed on or about his person, except in his dwelling house or place of business, or on other land possessed by him, a pistol, without a license therefor issued as hereinafter provided, or any deadly or dangerous weapon capable of being so concealed. Whoever violates this section shall be punished as provided in section 22–3215, unless the violation occurred after he has been convicted in the District of Columbia of a violation of this section or of a felony, either in the District of Columbia or in another jurisdiction, in which case he shall be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than ten years.
Now, that's plenty of law on concealed weapons, it seems to me. Do you see any deficiency in the law on concealed weapons?
Chief MURRAY. No, sir.
Mr. ADAMS. Do you think they ought to be eligible to have a license for short-arms on the premises.
Chief MURRAY. We really see no need for it.
Mr. WHITENER. You better think about the Constitution when you start talking about it.
Chief MURRAY. In granting licenses for a pistol, we had to take into consideration the real need for the applicant to have one, whether or not he knew how to handle it; and also to take into consideration, about the keeping of guns in the business places, in the home, that if these robbers, these criminals, know that the business man is unarmed or doesn't have a gun, they are going to be worse than ever. They are going to be more bold.
The last year that I was in office, 1964, I believe there were three holdup men on separate occasions who were shot and wounded by businessmen when they went in to hold them up. I think that would help to deter some crime.
Mr. Adams. There would be no problem with that though if they were licensed anyway, would there?
Chief MURRAY. No, sir.
Mr. WHITENER. Having a license wouldn't make a bullet more effective or less effective would it?
Chief MURRAY. No, sir.
Mr. Chairman, I would like to stress one thing. I came over at your request, and I'll mention again, when I gave this testimony before
Congressman Willis in 1957, I was criticized and in some cases ridiculed
Mr. WHITENER. Chief, we certainly thank you for being with us.
(Whereupon at 12:05 p.m. the subcommittee recessed until Wednesday, April 19, at 10 a.m.)