Travis County Commissioners hear briefing on preventing gun violence

Travis County Commissioners took part in the first of three gun violence prevention briefings.

The first briefing was about the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN). The program is run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. 

It makes it easier to analyze ballistic evidence, and a database can match it to other times a gun was used.

"A majority of gun crimes are used with a firearm that is used repeatedly, that is used more than once to commit a gun crime," Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza said.

Precinct One Commissioner Jeffrey Travillion says he supports using the analytic tool.

"We have seen some very difficult occurrences in the last 90 days," he says about gun violence in his precinct.

In July, a 15-year-old boy was found dead on State Highway 130 outside Pflugerville. He had been shot.

"We see that this is impacting real people," Travillion said. "We live in a state where it's easier to get a gun than it is to get your voting card."

Garza wants to implement NIBIN in Travis County. He says it will help prosecute people before they commit additional shootings. 

Austin Police Department uses NIBIN, but it's backlogged.

"What is important is that every law enforcement agency in our county has access to this tool," Garza said.

The machine costs about $250,000, but the DA isn't asking the county for money.

He says he's confident there will be funding through grants for the technology and that it will help with cases that come through his office every day that have to do with guns.

"The technology that we discussed today would ensure that prosecutors have the most data, the most information about potential threats of future violence for our community, so we can make the best judgments in every case that comes into our office," Garza said.

Travillion says he supports this and other investments.

"We feel this type of mitigation and after school programs and community policing can all give us the positive outcomes we're looking for as a community," he said.