Mayor Richard M. Daley today urged Chicagoans to give up their guns in exchange for a prepaid MasterCard as part of the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) Gun Turn-In event to be held Saturday, May 8, at 22 locations across the city.
“At the very time that some cities and states are allowing people to carry concealed weapons on their streets, in Chicago we're working to get all types of guns off our streets,” Daley said in a news conference held at Liberation Christian Center, 6810 S. Ashland Av., one of the turn-in sites.
“I ask Chicagoans to turn in their firearms, no questions asked. Every parent, every institution and every person shares in this responsibility,” he said.
Since 2006, the Chicago Police Department and CAPS have sponsored six successful “gun turn-in” programs collecting almost 19,000 illegal guns. Last summer, the program resulted in the collection of 1,900 guns.
Daley said the Gun Turn-In initiative has evolved from just a police department and CAPS initiative to become a true collaboration among many partners. The faith-based community, business community, advocacy groups, community organizations, parents of victims, law enforcement and some members of the media all play major roles.
Anyone who turns in an assault weapon, a gun or a BB gun at any of the 22 designated locations will receive a prepaid MasterCard -- $100 for an assault weapon, $75 for a gun and $10 for a BB gun, an air gun or a replica gun. The guns will be destroyed.
Daley said that every illegal gun taken off Chicago’s streets is potentially a life saved.
“As a father and grandfather, nothing pains me more than seeing Chicago’s children -- our children -- gunned down in the streets. It's why you see me and thousands of Chicagoans of all backgrounds marching against it -- day and night -- in our neighborhoods. And it is why we work hard to keep our children involved in positive activities and away from gangs, guns and drugs,” he said.
The Mayor said he will continue fighting for common-sense gun legislation in Springfield before the legislature ends this year and will pursue legislation in Washington, D.C., including a ban on assault weapons.
He said that Chicago’s bill strengthening the penalties for unlawful use of a weapon has now passed both the House and Senate and it is expected that Governor Quinn will sign it. When this bill becomes law, people caught carrying loaded weapons will not be let off scot-free as many of them are today.
And he pointed out that at this week’s Global Cities Forum held in Chicago this week, more than a dozen mayors from around the world agreed to a resolution calling for a new level of international cooperation among themselves, their governments and other entities to address the challenges presented by guns and gun violence.
Daley said he remains hopeful that when the U.S. Supreme Court reaches its final decision in June on the NRA’s challenge to Chicago’s handgun ban, it will agree with the City’s belief in the right of municipalities and states to enact strict but balanced gun laws to keep their residents safe.
Guns are involved in most of the homicides in Chicago, including violence against children. Of the total murders in Chicago in 2009, 82 percent were committed with a gun and 60 percent were gang-related.
The Mayor praised the many members of the local business community, the faith-based community and CAPS volunteers who have stepped up to help support the Gun Turn-In.
“As we've already seen, warmer weather will inevitably bring more violence on our streets and we're working to get ahead of this challenge. I don't know of any other city or state that regularly asks their residents to turn in their illegal weapons like we do in Chicago. We’re going to continue removing guns from our streets,” Daley said.
For more information about the Gun Turn-In program or to make a donation, visit http://www.dontkilladream.org/
Gun Turn-in Sites:
Chicago Islamic Center, 3357 W. 63rd St.
First Church of Deliverance, 4315 S. Wabash Av.
St. Rita Cascia, 6243 S. Fairfield Av.
Liberation Christian Center, 6810 S. Ashland Av.
Bethlehem Star M.B. Church, 9231 S. Cottage Grove Av.
Immaculate Conception, 2944 E. 88th St.
New Vision of Faith Ministries, 447 W. 120th St.
St. Sabina Church, 1210 W. 78th Pl.
United Church of Rogers Park, 1545 W. Morse Av.
Uptown Baptist Church, 1011 W. Wilson Av.
Good Shepherd Church, 2735 S. Kolin Av.
Blessed Agnes, 2651 S. Central Park Av.
Peoples Church of the Harvest, 3759 W. Fifth Av.
St. Agatha, 1400 S. Kedzie Av.
Destiny Worship Center, 5510 W. Chicago Av.
Heritage International Christian Church, 5312 W. North Av.
St. Pancratius, 2957 W. 40th Pl.
Fellowship M.B. Church, 4543 S. Princeton Av.
Holy Cross Immaculate Heart, 1740 W. 46th St.
Trinity All Nations Church, 9600 S. Vincennes Av.
Beth Eden M.B. Church, 2944 E. 88th St.
East Side United Methodist Church, 11000 S. Ewing Av.
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