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Mayor Rahm Emanuel gathered elected officials, community leaders and residents at St. Sabina Church on Chicago’s Southside to continue calling for stronger gun regulations after the Public Health Committee of the Illinois Senate passed restrictions on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines yesterday.
“In order to protect our children, our families and our communities, we need common-sense laws that provide the residents of our cities with the safety they deserve,” said Mayor Emanuel. “I commend the members of the Public Health Committee of the Illinois Senate for approving gun-control legislation that restricts high-capacity magazines and assault weapons designed for battlefields and not America’s streets.”
Mayor Emanuel is encouraging state legislators to support the assault weapons ban and the restrictions on high-capacity magazines, and to build on these reforms by supporting a requirement that gun owners report when their firearm is lost, stolen or transferred.
“We cannot allow the proliferation of guns and the damage they cause in our communities to continue. We must take swift action to stop this violence, especially to the straw purchasing that allows criminals to obtain weapons,” Mayor Emanuel said.
The City of Chicago has a handgun registration requirement, but according to a recent study by the University of Chicago Crime Lab, the majority of illegal handguns arrive in Chicago from elsewhere in the state. From 2005-2010, 56 percent of short-time-to-crime guns recovered at Chicago crime scenes were traced back to sources within the State of Illinois, but outside of Chicago.
According to the Chicago Police Department, many straw purchases are done within Cook County.
“We cannot continue to allow easy access to guns to contribute to a culture of violence in Chicago. We need our leaders to demonstrate their courage by adopting common sense gun laws that will help protect our young people from violence,” said Father Michael Pfleger, Pastor of St. Sabina Church.
The Chicago Police Department confiscated almost 7,500 guns, including nearly 300 assault weapons, in 2012, which is nine times as many guns as New York City and three times as many as Los Angeles.
“Stopping the flow of guns to our communities is an important step in protecting our children from senseless violence. No parent should have to suffer the loss of their child, and our neighborhoods, our communities and our city deteriorates with the loss of every young person to violence,” said Pamela Montgomery-Bosley, co-founder and board member of Purpose Over Pain.