Mayor Michael Coleman is preparing for the annual state of the city address on Wednesday and one of the focuses of his message will be ending gun violence.
In 2009 there were 83 homicides in the city. Last year that number increased to 105, 10TV's Jason Frazer reported.
"About 70 plus percent of the homicides in Columbus have been from the use of illegal guns," Coleman said.
There have been nine homicides so far in 2011, the most recent at Easton Town Center, where a 15-year-old boy was fatally shot by his brother.
"How are they getting in the hands of these young people? They get on the illegal market and somehow they get a hold of it," Coleman said.
Coleman said he is concerned about teens and young adults having easy access to guns and believes gun shows, like one held on Sunday at Southpointe Marketplace, are part of the issue.
He wants all gun vendors to do background checks on their customers, but according to Coleman, an undercover investigation found a loophole.
"What it showed was that 83 percent of the time, that a gun was sold to somebody who could not have passed a background check," Coleman said.
Coleman has asked shows to voluntarily perform background checks but he admits his hands are tied in drafting stricter gun laws.
"Up until recently, the local communities had the ability to use common sense gun laws within their jurisdiction and the state took ability away from local government," Coleman said. "I'm saying give us back some of our power so that we can save our lives in the process."
Gun advocates said Coleman is misinformed about gun shows contributing to gun violence.
Matthew Hooks, the manager of the gun show that was held on Sunday, said all the dealers are licensed and run background checks on buyers, to comply with federal law.
Individuals may also sell firearms at the shows and they are not required to run background checks, Frazer reported.
"If you check FBI statistics, the vast majority of firearms that are used in crimes have been reported stolen from someone's home, typically by a drug dealer," Hooks said.
Hooks said he believes city officials would be better off lobbying for stricter mandatory sentencing for people who use guns in the commission of a crime.
Coleman said anyone who passes a background check should have the right to own a gun.
You can watch Coleman's address live on 10TV.com at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
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