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Officer Down

Friday, March 8, 2013

CHICAGO GUN CONTROL: Aldermen endorse expansion of city gun offender registry

--Is this really needed? NO, I don't think so.
What we need is common sense state statue regarding concealed carry that includes background checks and severe penalties for those that obtain a firearm in a deceitful or illegal manner.
We need to start governing with our heads and not our hearts.--
Duke

Story at Chicago Tribune

New law would cover people who commit violent crimes with firearms

By Hal Dardick
Chicago Tribune reporter
March 7, 2013

A City Council committee recommended requiring more people who committed crimes that involved guns to register with police at a time when Mayor Rahm Emanuel is pushing tougher gun-control laws.

A Chicago City Council committee on Thursday recommended requiring more people who committed crimes that involved guns to register with police at a time when Mayor Rahm Emanuel is pushing tougher gun control laws.

Ald. Edward Burke, 14th, who backed the original requirement and proposed the expansion, said he has been disappointed in the results so far.

Registration since the current requirement took effect in July 2010 has been sparse, with only 584 offenders now on the list, police said. Police are looking for 74 people who haven't registered.

"Clearly, I felt that there were thousands of gun offenders that should have been registered," Burke said at a Public Safety Committee meeting. "This proposed amendment to the gun offender registration ordinance is intended to cast a wider net by expanding the definition of what a gun offender is."

Only Chicago residents convicted of unlawful use or possession of a weapon now must register. The new proposal, to be considered by the full council Wednesday, would require registration by those who commit a violent crime with a firearm.

People in violation of the gun registry ordinance face penalties of up to six months in jail and a $500 fine.

Similar registries are in place in New York City, Baltimore and Washington, Burke said, adding that people convicted of gun crimes "pose a very high risk" of again committing violent crimes, including murder.

Chicago residents would have to register in person with city police, providing their address, within five days of being placed on probation or paroled from prison. They would stay on the registry for four years and be required to report in person to police to verify registration once a year during that period.

Under both the current and proposed ordinance, the list of gun offenders is supposed to be posted online. There has been some criticism of how difficult it is to use the current site, but police said they are making plans to improve it.

"An enhanced and comprehensive database of registered gun offenders will provide Chicago residents with the opportunity to alert themselves as to the presence of gun offenders in their own communities," Burke said. Officers responding to calls for help also can check the registry to see if someone known to be at the scene is on the list, he added.

The enhanced gun offender registry effort comes as Emanuel is pushing state legislators to ban semi-automatic assault weapons and toughen the penalties for gun crimes. The city recently toughened its penalties for failing to report the destruction, loss, theft or transfer of a firearm. And the mayor is pushing pension funds to rid themselves of investments in companies that make semi-automatic weapons.

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