CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago’s violence made national news again Wednesday, but this time there is a federal plan of action.
With five dead and nearly 50 wounded just last weekend in Chicago, it’s statistics like those that have President Joe Biden unveiling a five-point plan to address what he calls an uptick in violent crime since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in major American cities.READ MORE: IDES Kept Offices Closed While Many Struggled To Get Their Unemployment Benefits: What Really Happened
The plan would crack down on gun sellers who violate federal laws with a new zero-tolerance policy, which would mean stiffer penalties for retailers like Westforth Sports in Gary, Indiana.
A lawsuit filed in April by the City of Chicago identifies the store as the number one supplier of guns used in Chicago crimes during a seven year period.
Eddie Bocanegra was at the Whitehouse Wednesday.
“It feels like early Christmas to be quite honest with you and it’s unfortunate that it took this long,” he said.READ MORE: More Than 9,000 Unemployment Claims Filed In Illinois Last Week Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
He is the senior director with Heartland Alliance READI Chicago, a community group that works to address gun violence.
“It was reassuring that what the president laid out was you could tell well informed by advocates by experts and by community,” he said.
President Biden also is calling for more funding for gang and community violence intervention groups — work that is done by organizations Like BUILD Chicago, headquartered on the city’s West Side.
“Services cannot be pop just ups. It has to be long term,” said Bradly Johnson with BUILD Chicago. “It’s one thing to say put the guns down. Don’t do bad things. But it’s another to put something else in their hand. They need opportunity.”MORE NEWS: President Joe Biden To Visit Chicago On Wednesday To Promote Workplace Vaccine Mandates
The proposal also aims to provide more opportunities for the incarcerated to re-enter society, more support for law enforcement and expansion of summer employment for teens and young adults.