Emanuel, McCarthy Continue Push For Tougher Gun Laws
Updated 01/14/13 – 5:20 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Police Supt. Garry McCarthy and Mayor Rahm Emanuel continued the city’s full court press on gun violence on Monday.
As the mayor was in Washington, D.C., to attend a panel discussion on how to prevent gun violence, McCarthy was in Chicago, showing off a table full of confiscated guns, and trotting out statistics comparing Chicago to New York.
WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports Chicago police seized 7,400 guns last year – nine times as many as New York City – where he used to be a police officer. McCarthy said Chicago is off to a fast start this year.
“In the first two weeks of 2013, our officers have seized 302 firearms, including 120 last week alone. This can no longer continue,” he said.
McCarthy said the difference between New York City and Chicago is stiffer gun laws.
He pushed for a five-point program, including a ban on assault weapon and high capacity magazines, universal background checks for gun purchases, and mandatory reporting from gun owners when a firearm is sold, transferred, lost, or stolen.
“This, to me, is a very simple step that does not – again – represent gun control,” he said of a reporting requirement. “It’s just saying that you are accountable, because that is the method by which the firearms reach our city streets.”
Meantime, the mayor planned to introduce proposals to stiffen penalties for violating some of the city’s gun ordinances at the next City Council meeting on Thursday.
CBS 2’s Courtney Gousman reports assault weapons, high capacity magazines, and guns without a Chicago Firearm Permit are already illegal in the city. Under the mayor’s proposal, jail time would be increased if you’re caught with any of these. The penalty is now a fine between $1,000 and $5,000 or/and 20-90 days in jail. The fine amount would remain the same, but jail time would increase to 90-180 days.
The same is true for gun owners who don’t report a lost, stolen, or sold firearm.
Critics said the mayor’s proposals would only make it harder for those trying to follow the rules.
The Chicago’s Republican Party said “Emanuel’s empty gun control proposal does nothing to stem the tide of violence in Chicago. We have the strongest gun control laws in the country and the highest murder rate in the country.”
But McCarthy said, “It’s important that we tackle this issue on as many fronts as possible.”
The superintendent rejected any notion he’s trying to infringe on the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms.
“We would like to insert some reasonability into the gun laws, and none of the five points that we are pressing for – I challenge you – are gun control. They represent reasonability in gun laws,” he said.
Also Monday, the mayor’s office announced he is asking city pension and retirement fund managers to review their portfolios for investments in assault weapons manufacturers and sellers, as a first step toward divesting such holdings.