City Council Committee Advances Emanuel’s Anti Gun Trafficking Measure

The Chicago City Council Public Safety Committee today (June 18) unanimously adopted an Emanuel administration proposal that would tighten restrictions on gun retailers while still allowing gun sales in the city.

The committee vote followed a hearing at which the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs and several organizations spoke in support of the measure.

JCUA's Judy Levey (center, at mic) testifies in support of an ordinance that would impose restrictions on gun sales in Chicago.

JCUA’s Judy Levey (center, at mic) testifies in support of an ordinance that would impose restrictions on gun sales in Chicago.

“We urge the City Council of Chicago to be bold enough to enact this common sense ordinance to reduce the supply of and access to illegal guns in this city, in an effort to reduce easy access to guns and resulting fatalities,” said JCUA executive director Judy Levey in her testimony to the committee.

“It is far too easy for gun traffickers and violent offenders to get their hands on guns that were stolen or purchased illegally, destroying lives, families, and far too much human potential.  JCUA worked on gun titling legislation in Springfield last year, which did not pass. We endorse the ordinance and urge our City legislators to respond urgently and responsibly in order to protect Chicago’s families from the devastation of gun violence,” Levey testified.

Faced with a federal court decision preventing the city from an outright ban on gun sales, Mayor Rahm Emanuel proposed a set of controls designed to reduce the prevalence of guns in the community. The ordinance accepted by the committee today would:

  • Require gun stores to make video recordings of sales
  • Mandate a 72-hour waiting period for buying handguns and 24 hours for rifles and shotguns
  • Limit sales to only one handgun per month per buyer

In addition, proposed zoning restrictions would prevent gun stores from setting up except in areas that make up only a half of one percent of the city’s geographic area, according to the mayor’s office.

With the Public Safety Committee’s endorsement, the measure requires adoption by the full City Council before it can become law. And, of course, the same court system that has struck down previous anti-gun ordinances in Chicago may be asked to consider this one, too.

» DNAInfo coverage of the hearing and committee vote

» Chicago Tribune coverage of proposed gun store regulations

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