TULSA - Keeping weapons out of the hands of convicted criminals has been a topic of national debate.
"Kids with guns, or criminals with guns, I think everyone would agree, needs to be addressed in a different way than we are doing it now," said Sgt. Dave Walker with the Tulsa Police Department.
But there are no concrete solutions.
So far, 2013 is on track to be a record breaking year for homicides in Tulsa.
In 2012 numbers were low, but in more than 80 percent of the city's homicides where police have named a suspect, it was someone who had been arrested before.
On May 26, 2012, 17-year-old Kayla Ferrante was shot and killed while driving home from a party with her boyfriend.
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Police call it a case of mistaken identity.
The suspect, 24-year-old Edwin Daniels is facing first degree murder charges. Police say Daniels thought he was firing at gang members he was looking to kill.
This is not the first time Daniels found himself behind bars.
Daniels has a drug conviction, another for transporting a loaded firearm and several charges that were dismissed after witnesses refused to testify. He is considered a non-violent offender.
"You look at their past and we are not surprised," said Walker. "We see their reports, we see their names, we know they're armed, they've been armed in the past and it doesn't surprise us that they are armed now and their bullets finally found their mark."
Walker says harsher penalties for unlicensed firearms and felons with guns could make a difference in stopping these crimes before they happen.
"I would like to see them warehoused, where that particular person can not get hold of a gun and not do harm to a person for an X number of years," said Walker
As to how long, he says he's not sure. He just doesn't want to see them walk too soon.
"I don't want them six months in probation because I will see them again," said Walker.
Doug Drummond, Tulsa County assistant district attorney, says those penalties are already in place, but the suspects don't always do the time they get.
"We encourage all our prosecutors on gun crimes, that would be firearm after former conviction of a felony, or other types of firearm charges that would lead to at least some 'in time' or prison," said Drummond.
The perpetrators may be getting out faster than police and prosecutors would like.
"For example, if you send someone down for an eight-year case, eight years in prison, they're not going to serve eight calendar years, it may be three or four," said Drummond.
There is also the tough job of knowing when or if someone who's committed a non-violent crime will become violent.
"Typically you'll get probation on a non-violent crime, a drug offense or something like that, and while they are on probation and then they'll go out and commit murder and sometimes that's very difficult to understand for that family and for us," said Drummond.
Walker wants to start keeping tabs on the suspects he thinks have the potential for violence.
"We have to use our experience. We sit across from the worst of the worst and at 15 if you show no consciences or ability to communicate or won't take responsibility for what's going on, we can kind of say we'll see you again," said Walker.
Walker says it will take more than police action to make Tulsa safer -- witnesses need to speak up, referring to Daniels and those charges prosecutors dropped in the past because people didn't talk.
"Could we have intervened in his life? Sure we tried, but he was so intimidating the witnesses wouldn't show up and that's where the public needs to get involved," said Walker.
2NEWS reached out to Kayla Ferrante's mother to weigh in on this issue, but since the case against Daniels is still pending, the DA's office advised her not to talk publicly.
Walker says this year the department is stepping up enforcement to keep tabs on potential violent offenders. He's dubbed it the year of the shadow.
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