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Thursday, December 7, 2023

Chicago gun laws: Not the same

FILE - In this Monday, July 7, 2014, file photo, Chicago police display some of the thousands of illegal firearms they have confiscated so far this year in their battle against gun violence in Chicago. The recent mass shooting at an Oregon community college has put the debate over gun violence and gun control into the center of the presidential race. At least some of the Republicans who are running have pointed to Chicago as proof that gun control laws don't work. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
Chicago police display some of the thousands of illegal firearms they have confiscated so far this year.  (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

The mass shooting at an Oregon community college last week thrust the debate over the nation’s gun laws to the center of the presidential race. At least some of the Republicans who are running have pointed to Chicago as proof that gun control does not work.

The city has a reputation for having some of the country’s strictest gun laws but has experienced an increase in homicides and shootings this year, which Republican presidential hopefuls Donald Trump, Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina say proves their point.

“You look at Chicago, it’s got the toughest gun laws in the United States. You look at other places where they have gun laws that are very tough, they do — generally speaking — worse than anybody else,” the billionaire businessman Trump said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday.

Christie, who is New Jersey’s governor, echoed the sentiment Sunday, telling ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that homicides are up in cities like Chicago and New York, which he said have “some of the most aggressive gun laws.”

But Chicago’s gun laws aren’t as tough as their reputation suggests. They once were, but courts have overturned or gutted many of them in recent years, forcing a city that once banned handguns and gun shops to allow both.



Former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley was determined to keep handguns out of residents’ hands and he fought every legal challenge to Chicago’s gun restrictions during his 22 years in office. But the U.S. Supreme Court dealt a big blow to Chicago’s gun laws in 2010 when it struck down the city’s handgun ban.

Chicago quickly enacted a gun ordinance that proponents said included some of the nation’s toughest regulations, but the city was forced to scrap some of the provisions that most angered gun rights advocates.

Then, after a federal appeals court struck down Illinois’ last-in-the-nation concealed carry ban in 2012, gun rights advocates took aim at Chicago’s decades-old ban on gun stores. The city lost that fight, too, and last year passed an ordinance allowing gun stores.



No gun store has opened in the city yet. That means that every gun owned legally or illegally came from somewhere else. Just how many is unclear, but Chicago’s police department seizes more illegal weapons than any other in the nation — nearly 20 a day for a total of 5,500 so far this year.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel released a report that blames gun sales elsewhere for much of Chicago’s street violence.

It said nearly 60 percent of recovered guns used to commit crimes in Chicago from 2009 through 2013 were first sold in states with more lax gun laws. Neighboring Indiana was the biggest source, with 19 percent of all recovered guns having been sold there first. But they came from far and wide, with Mississippi second at 6.7 percent.

Just days ago, a Chicago man was sentenced to nearly three years in prison after pleading guilty to helping purchase 43 firearms from gun shows and individuals in Indiana to sell on Chicago’s South Side.

Several Chicago residents filed a lawsuit this summer against three suburbs, accusing them of lax oversight of local gun shops that they say have been an easy source of weapons for criminals who bring guns into the city.



Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy often complains that people arrested for possession of illegal guns don’t stay locked up for long.

McCarthy, who spent most of his career on New York City’s police force, notes that former Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress was sentenced to 20 months in prison after he accidentally shot himself in the leg with an illegal gun. By contrast, he says the sentences meted out in Chicago courtrooms are typically no more than six months.

An analysis by the Chicago Sun-Times bolsters McCarthy’s argument that courts in Cook County, where Chicago is located, aren’t nearly as tough on illegal gun possession as they might be. For example, the mandatory minimum prison sentence for illegal gun possession in New York is 3½ years, but such a conviction in Cook County carries a minimum sentence of a year in prison and judges stick to that minimum term most of the time, the paper found.

Two years ago, several black Illinois lawmakers blocked a bill backed by McCarthy and Emanuel that would have imposed stiffer prison sentences on those convicted of illegal gun possession. The lawmakers viewed it as a recipe to lock up more blacks and Latinos.


Copyright © 2015 Capitol Hill Blue

Copyright  © 2015 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved

45 thoughts on “Chicago gun laws: Not the same”

  1. “Two years ago, several black Illinois lawmakers blocked a bill backed by McCarthy and Emanuel that would have imposed stiffer prison sentences on those convicted of illegal gun possession. The lawmakers viewed it as a recipe to lock up more blacks and Latinos.”
    And theres your problem we dont want to lock up more blacks and latinos!

    • JT; good post! We’re on the same page. Even the NRA has been calling for serious improvements in the abysmal prosecution rates and punishments dished out, especially in Chicago! Their idiocy and “political correctness” is costing them more lives every year!

  2. “The lawmakers viewed it as a recipe to lock up more blacks and Latinos.”
    Here is the Problem…..Blacks and Latinos.

  3. McCarthy is actually right, criminals are let out of jail way early for many reasons, politicians like to use overcrowding……then of course as they’re already criminals they go out and commit more crimes because they know the punishment is a slap on the wrist

  4. So what you are saying is that Chicagos gun crimes are being commited with illegally obtained guns and feel that more laws that wont be enforced is the solution. Besides the only laws that were overturned by the supreme court only made it so that people in chicago could actually own a handgun giving those who were unable to defend themselves a chance. Then the city of chicago passed laws that required you to pay to practice one of your rights then that was over turned. How about next time you right an artical you pay the city 200 dollars its the same thing. Gun control will not stop the next mass shooting people with evil in there hearts dont give a shit about your laws. Murder is illegal that hasnt seemed to stop any of them.

  5. “Mayor Rahm Emanuel released a report that blames gun sales elsewhere for much of Chicago’s street violence.”… the people using these guns have no responsibility toward the violence? Guns are only tools, like knives, pipes, chains, cars, etc… If someone is truly intent on hurting others, it doesn’t make any difference what they use. Plus, passing additional gun control laws only affects the law-abiding….

  6. “Chicago’s vanishing gun restrictions”? That’s hilarious! The people of this poor city have about zero gun rights these days! Chicago needs to follow smarter states,and cities, and start issuing more concealed carry permits; a lot more! Over time, crime and gun violence will eventually come down, as the gangs and thugs don’t like it when people shoot back.

  7. the reason crime has not gone down is the socialist communist democrats will go after who is doing the most crimes, blacks . in fact they coddle these criminals by letting them get shorter stays in prison. if it was up to this worthless party they would let all black criminals off for their crimes

  8. No matter where the guns come from–with 100,000,000+ gun owners in America–the chances do not look good. It is tempting to blame gang bangers for the gun violence in America; 60% of gun homicides occur in the Black community; it’s easy to blame mental illness on the gun violence. But truth to tell–possession of the weapon is the cause of gun violence. NO GUN–NO GUN VIOLENCE. If gun ownership is a pathology for the Black community, it is pathology for everyone else; if the Black community has to make an existential choice about gun ownership–so does everyone else. When we start recognizing gun ownership as pathology–like cigarette smoking….

  9. No one has said how or where the gunman got his guns. As he was a 1/2 black male from southern California, maybe that should be added to the comparison of state laws?

  10. Chicago gun laws were tougher in the past, before the Heller and McDonnell decisions and before Illinois passed concealed carry; and Chicago’s murder rate was higher then than before this current uptick.

    It is a federal crime for anyone anywhere to sell a handgun to someone in another state unless the transaction goes through a dealer, who performs a background check. It is a federal crime to purchase guns for someone else. It is a state crime for any resident of Illinois to even possess a firearm without a FOID card. Therefore, if laws worked, then there would not be the possibility of so many illegally possessed guns.

    The FBI district for Chicago has the lowest prosecution rate of federal gun laws of any district. Why is that?

  11. Well that last paragraph pretty much sums up Cook county and the revolving door on Cook county jail you can’t put them in jail with stiffer sentences because the racial numbers lean more toward the minorities and that is discrimination even though that is how the numbers really run. Close the door on Cook county jail use some of the abandoned factories as jail annex’s and open up Joliet state prison and use it again maybe when the revolving door closes then the death rate and shooting sprees in Chicago will return to normal.

  12. This is the equivalent of Clinton saying it depends on what the definition of ‘is’, is. The bottom line is that all of the very stiff gun laws that Chicago — and Illinois — have, Do Not Work on the criminals. And by the author’s own admission, it is the liberal judges that are turning them loose. The bottom line is that it is the left leaning liberals that talk a good game, but in the end, their ‘progressive’ ideas simply do not work. Time to wake up.

  13. 3 years when he should have gotten 30! You see if firearms laws were enforced properly you wouldn’t have the violence problem in Chicago, the violence problem would be in Illinois prison!

  14. It is illegal to purchase a firearm out of state. It has to be shipped through a FFL dealer in YOUR home state.

  15. 2 weeks ago on the west side of Chicago 58 people were shot. Gangbangers, and others who obtain guns illegally will do there random violence anytime they want. While people who buy guns legally have to crawl through hole the size of a dime thats on fire.

  16. We have two basic issues at work here; The mentally ill and the criminal mind.

    Really the biggest issue is that no one, from the Obama Admin to the the AG’s office all the way down the line to the local pols have the stomach to enforce existing laws or take action against the Big Psycho lobby. Look how many years the ACLU defended doctors from exposing potential mass murderers due to Privacy Rights? They finally acquiesced after it came to light that the Virginia Tech shooter had told his shrink what his intentions were and the shrink could not warn anyone. The NRA fought the ACLU for years on that issue.

    And now these same clowns that say they can’t find 1 million illegal aliens are the same ones that think they will take 300 million guns away from some pissed off rednecks? Seriously?

  17. This article is an attempt to make Chicago look like they no longer have gun control laws on the books…. False, and because the honest guy cannot easily carry a pistol, one person every 2.8 hrs in Chicago is getting shot.

  18. “…a Chicago man was sentenced to nearly three years in prison after pleading guilty to helping purchase 43 firearms…”
    You want to know where your problem is? It isn’t the guns it’s your legal system that finds a gun runner and sentences him to ONLY 3 years of which he will probably serve 1.5 years if we’re lucky. Put him behind bars for a MINIMUM of 10 years and for 10 years he won’t be selling more guns on the street.
    You want laws that actually impact “gun violence”? Mandatory long sentences for anyone who is illegally in possession of a gun (say 10 years). Add a mandatory 10 more years on top of that to anyone who brings a firearm to a crime. Add 10 more years on top of that if they discharge the firearm at a crime. And apply that to ALL of the people involved not just the one who fired or brought the gun. Finally pass a law restricting the ability of the DA to bargain away gun charges to get a cheaper and quicker conviction on lesser charges.
    Use laws that actually attack the PROBLEM instead of the law abiding gun owners who are NOT the problem.

  19. Chicago’s problem strems from the fact that the majority of the gun offenders are minorities that are gang members and voters. Also the revolving door policy of the courts put the gun offenders on the street before the arresting officer has finished the paperwork on the arrest. Ask any cop in Chicago and they will tell you the same thing. There is no enforcement.

  20. Strict gun laws leave the honest citizen unarmed against the criminal element because the criminal doesn’t respect or follow the law. Idiot politicians can’t seem to grasp the reality of this fact and continue to subject their constituents to the criminal element of our society.
    Of course politician and criminal element are quite often synonymous.

    Mass shootings consist of three elements:
    1. Mentally ill perpetrator – can’t lock them up until after the fact.
    2. Guns – can’t eliminate all of them from the population.
    3. Gun Free Zone – easily eliminate them and remove this from the equation.
    Gee, you’d think that any person with any common sense could figure this out. Yeah, I know: common sense among politicians is a rare commodity.

  21. Chicago’s crime reputation preceded the loosening of its gun laws. In fact, the loosening has allowed citizens to in some measure be able to defend themselves against the waves of crime directed at its law-abiding citizens

  22. So according to this article, Chicago has soft gun laws and soft sentences. Sounds like someone is putting some spin on the reality. 50 shooting, something like 10 dead in the past week. There is a problem in Chicago, no matter what someone writes about it.

  23. It would appear that MINORITIES don’t want ‘their people’ to do the time for the crime.
    It would appear that politicians are more than willing to destroy the rights of the law abiding to create the ILLUSION they have ‘done something’.
    Funny thing – I’ve noticed that if one has a job, money, a real life to be disrupted, DAs have no problem charging same with multiple violations, thereby forcing the person to ‘put money in the system’.
    If one has no money, no job, nothing to lose by doing time, they don’t prosecute, or, if they do, mildly.
    One adds to the system ( me and you ), the other takes.
    In effect, these gun laws result in jailing people far removed from the actual problem, while doing nothing to reduce crime in the cities.

  24. Whatever!!!! Laws do not matter to criminals. The supply of illegal guns is high because THERE IS A DEMAND BY CRIMINALS! There not bringing them to Oshkosh,

  25. Anywhere you restrict something a strong black market appears to fill that gap. Where do you think criminals get their guns?

  26. I don’t take stock in the illegal guns “leaching in” from areas with lax gun control laws. Evil is evil and it will always find a way to oppress others. If “gun leaching” was a reality, why doesn’t Canada have an awful gun problem? They are adjacent to the nation with the most firearms per capita in the world, two of the most violent gun ridden cities in America, Chicago and Detroit are a stone’s throw from the border. Is there a magical gun firewall at the border? I have crossed the border hundreds of times and they rarely ever check the car, maybe twice. Could it be that they are more focused on common sense than we are? I think that is more plausible than “gun leaching”.

  27. Hello Patriots,
    I do not care where it is, what City, or State, all the gun laws in the world will not help of fix the gun problems, why ?, Because the only people that will have the guns are the THUGS, KILLERS, ROBBERS, AND DRUGGIES AND THOSE LAWS WILL JUST CREATE MORE VICTIMS.
    W.B.Smith, Tea Party

  28. As usual this anti gun article leaps to unsupportable conclusions, misstates the nations existing gun laws, and implies that only tougher gun laws will solve the problems associated with misuse of firearms.

    The problem is, has always been, that criminals want and will get guns to ply their trade. They do not use legal channels to secure their firearms, and are therefore immune to any and all purchase associated gun laws.

    Liberal Judges, Politicians and others have refused to enforce the laws on the books to facilitate the passage of more gun laws with the goal of disarmament of the general populace: should they succeed, they will then be able to change this nation into a place an armed citizenry would not permit. That belief is not paranoia, it is the lesson learned from history!

  29. Black lawmakers are opposed to full enforcement of gun laws because too many blacks would be locked up???!!!! I guess it is better for blacks to slaughter other blacks than for criminal blacks to be stopped from killing people. Or is it because it is the NRA faults that criminals commit murder???

  30. Liberal logic at it’s typical worse. So if a gun was once sold in another state that state is to blame when a criminal buys it illegally and breaks many laws using it. Usually the gun has been stolen from a legitimate owner. That is like blaming another state for cars brought into Chicago and involved in drunk driving.

  31. Here in WY we have pretty lax gun laws and like the 4th lowest homicide rate in the country. WY has more guns per capita than anywhere else in the US, so likely anywhere else in the world. The presence of an inanimate object does not make people suddenly become killers or criminals. That is a problem with the local society and culture, their upbringing, their morals, ethics and respect for the sanctity of human life. Removing firearms will not change those things and they will simply use other weapons. Run over you with a car, throw you off a building, stab you with a knife, hit you in the head with a hammer. But gun grabbers can’t see past the gun, and can’t seem to grasp that gun law are only obeyed by the law abiding and largely ignored by the criminal.

  32. Oh yeah even in the heyday of Chicago’s draconian gun control they had a higher rate of violent crime than any 2 gun friendly cities

  33. Truth be told Chicago still is antigun to the point of mania and it shows only the law abiding of that city are unarmed, in the week of the protests surrounding the death of Michael Brown more 50 young Chicagoans died by murder and not a single voice was lifted against it. Gun control is a false argument, as the proof in the justice department annual reports show when will issue concealed carry permits are approved, or legal purchases of firearms by the law abiding rise Crime goes rapidly down. sorry leftist your beloved criminals will never obey your laws fear however will keep their cowardly lazy azeses out of sight

  34. So the criminals are the ones getting guns, but Chicago has made it more difficult for the law abiding to get one. Goes to show that bans only negatively impact the law abiding. Take a look a Mexico where there is a tight regulation on guns. The bad guys still get theirs whether they blame it on the US and if not the US they will get them another way. Criminals will never give up their guns, neither should USA citizens

  35. Regardless of media, Oregon shooter was black, was on psychiatric meds., schools in Calf. were for students with mental problems, and he had been kicked out of US Army. No one had put him into data base to prevent him from buying guns and he lied on paper work to get guns. So many wrongs !! Chicago is a open city that does not respect our laws and does not enforce them. Gangs and drugs. Drugs is the common problem.

  36. So ….the conclusion is, the black leaders have circumvented tough gun crime laws, because it would disproportionately effect black criminals?
    Go figure, the problem is, black people refusing to take responsibility for black society, but blaming the problem on whites, the rich, racism, economics, jobs, education, the moon phase, Aztec calendar, or any other “go to” excuse for dodging the source of their woes.

  37. Wow, so your argument is, since Chicago can’t outlaw guns anymore, it doesn’t count? What was the murder rate a couple of years ago when guns were still illegal? And how did these guns get in, since there were — and are — no gun stores there? It’s almost as if Chicago’s impenetrable border didn’t stop anyone from bringing anything they wanted into the city. That sounds like an accurate description of this country’s southern border — the reason why the “Australian” solution would never work here.

  38. We need to end these “Gun-Free” killing zones. If you believe the vast majority of people are good people then you would also believe that in a college where concealed carry were allowed the lunatic would be far outnumbered by armed good people. Generally speaking criminals do not obey the law that’s why they have no problem carrying a gun onto school property when planning on shooting a large number of people. If anyone wanted to carry a gun on school property they already could but most people do not because they follow the law, that is why they are referred to as law abiding citizens. Looking at the laws mandating “Gun-Free Zones” knowing this information it is obvious that the only people this law is preventing from being armed in these “gun Free Zones” are law abiding citizens.Currently in these “gun Free Zones” when a situation like these happens the first people school officials call are police officers. They call these police officers not because they have great negotiating skills but because they also have Guns. This is good logic on the schools part but the only problem with this is that it takes a lot of time for the police dispatcher to route the police to the school and the police to travel there. By the time the police arrive and figure out where the lunatic is within the school the lunatic has had time to kill and injure many people. this is where having multiple armed good people already at the school will prevent as many people from being shot. Not only that but the lunatic would not know who these armed people are until they have already drawn their weapon.I know this is written in a simplistic way as one would write something for a child to understand but there are obviously some people out there who still just don’t get this simple and basic concept yet.

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