May 20, 2010

Mayor Daley Looks Ahead To U.S. Supreme Court Decision On Chicago's Gun Law

Says Chicago Will Use Every Tool Available to Continue Fight Against Gun Violence, No Matter How Court Rules
Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

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Mayor Richard M. Daley said today Chicago will continue to use every tool available to continue the fight against gun violence, no matter how the U.S. Supreme Court rules in the gun industry’s challenge to the City's gun laws.

The Court’s ruling is expected by the end of June.

"We're hoping for the best and that our position will be sustained. But, in today's national climate, we have to plan for the worst, and we are," Daley said in a City Hall news conference.

"Whatever the details of the court's ruling will be, in Chicago we will always find new ways to keep guns off our streets and out of the hands of gang and drug thugs who are trying to intimidate and destroy the way of life in our neighborhoods,” he said.

In 2008, the Illinois State Rifle Association, with support from the National Rifle Association and other gun advocates, filed suit challenging Chicago's strong handgun laws. The challenge had been dismissed by two federal courts before being taken to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Daley said the City will, of course, abide by the court's ruling. If the ruling goes against the City, Chicago will continue to look for new ways to adhere to its basic commitment to keep guns off our streets and prevent gun violence.

"We will never give up or give in to the gun runners or those who want there to be more guns on the streets of Chicago," he said.



The Mayor said future steps would include:


  • Continuing efforts in Congress to reinstate the federal assault weapons ban, which expired in 2005.


  • Pursuing a crackdown on gun shops and their owners -- at the federal and state level, if needed – and to require gun dealers to be licensed by the state, similar to what is already required for most other occupations that impact public safety, welfare and health.


  • Looking for new ways to challenge gun manufacturers, including how they market their products to young people.


  • Continuing efforts to close the “gun show loophole” by enacting a federal ban on the ability of criminals to purchase guns at gun shows.


  • Working at every level of government to take stronger action against illegal gun trafficking.


The Mayor said that the United States remains one of the few industrialized countries in the world that places so few restrictions on gun sales and pointed out that gun violence has become a national challenge.


He said that:


  • There are more than 270 million privately owned firearms in the United States -- - the equivalent of nine firearms for every 10, women and children. 


  • In an average year, more than 100,000 people in America are shot or killed with a gun – more than 3,000 of whom are children and teens.


  • Every day, more than 80 people die from guns and another 200 are wounded, many of whom suffer permanent injuries.


Daley said that over the next few weeks he will hold a range of meetings with key law enforcement officials as well as community and-faith based groups to build a strategy for taking these next steps.


“I know that what I'm proposing goes against the political wind in many parts of our nation, and may even be unpopular in some parts of Illinois. But, that's not the point,” the Mayor said.


“It's that common sense gun laws and efforts to hold manufacturers, gun dealers and gun owners to high standards can both support the 2nd Amendment as well as protect us. That's why in Chicago we will continue our fight against gun violence -- using every tool we can,” he said.




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