Illinois has fairly strict gun control laws. To legally own a firearm in the state, a person must apply for a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card issued by the Illinois State Police. Before issuing a FOID card, the state police conduct a background check using the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) maintained and operated by the FBI. Even though state law specifies that the state police deny or issue a FOID card within 30 days of the application, the process often takes up to 60 days or longer due to a backlog of applications. Once issued, FOID cards are valid for 10 years unless otherwise revoked for various reasons prior to the 10-year expiration.
To purchase a firearm in Illinois, the seller must verify the validity of the buyer’s FOID card. This process is known as the Firearm Transfer Inquiry Program (FTIP). If the FOID card passes the FTIP check, the buyer must wait 24 hours before taking possession of the purchased rifle or shotgun and 72 hours for a handgun.
In addition to the state gun laws, Chicago has passed some of their own. They have banned the ownership and possession of assault weapons which includes a variety of semi-automatic weapons. They’ve also banned ammo magazines that hold more than 15 rounds of ammo. If a person 17 years of age or younger lives in the home with a legally owned firearm, the firearm must have a trigger lock or be stored in a locked gun cabinet/safe or is secured to the body of the legal owner of the firearm. (This makes gun ownership useless for self-defense if anyone breaks into the home, but liberal Democrats care nothing about the right to defend one’s person, family or property.
After a federal judge overturned Chicago’s ban on all gun sales within the city, the city passed a new ordinance in June 2014 that specified that gun sales can only take place in certain locations in the city. All sales must be videotaped and the ordinance limits a person to purchasing only 1 firearm within a 30-day period.
Furthermore, Cook County, which encompasses the city of Chicago, also has a ban on assault weapons and certain semi-automatic weapons. No ammo magazine can hold more than 10 rounds of ammo. As for gun storage in the home, they have the same requirements as Chicago, except that the requirement for all guns to be locked and secured apply to any house containing anyone younger than 21.
With all of the gun control laws in effect in Chicago, they still have high rates of gun related crimes. At the beginning of January, I reported on the tremendous amount of gun violence taking place in Chicago:
“The Windy City on the south-western tip of Lake Michigan has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation and one of highest number of homicides and shootings. Rahm Emanuel, Barack Obama’s former White House Chief of Staff, has been mayor of Chicago since May 2011. Emanuel shares many of Obama’s liberal anti-American agendas including the desire to ban guns and disarm the citizenry.
Like his mentor, Emanuel has done everything possible to enact strict gun control laws in Chicago and like his mentor, he claims that guns are the cause of gun violence and passing tough gun control laws will lower gun violence and deaths in his city.
However, his strict gun control laws have done little to curb gun violence and deaths. There were 437 homicides in 2011; 506 in 2012; 420 in 2013; 416 in 2014 and 468 in 2015. The 468 homicides for 2015 doesn’t include current death investigations that could be classified as homicides in the future. The 2015 homicide rate also does not include police involved shootings including those deemed justifiable.
Note that not all homicides involved guns. As for shootings, there were 2,272 people shot in 2013. In 2014 the number of people shot in Chicago jumped to around 2,600 and in 2015 there were 2,939 people shot.”
If you thought 2015 was dangerous in the Windy City, 2016 is starting out far more deadly. January 2016 more than doubled the number of shootings and shooting victims than January 2015. January’s murders are the highest in 16 years. The number of murders were close to being doubled over the same month last year:
Jan. 2015 – 119 shootings, 136 shooting victims, 29 murders.
Jan. 2016 – 242 shootings, 292 shooting victims, 51 murders.
Anthony Guglielmi, Spokesman for the Chicago Police Department commented about the skyrocketing gun violence, saying:
“Both figures represent unacceptable increases from 2015 and were driven primarily by gang conflicts and retaliatory violence. While we have much more work to do, the entire Chicago Police Department is determined to keep every Chicagoan safe. We will continue to work tirelessly on ways to stop violence, and restore accountability and trust in communities throughout the city.”
Chicago is Barack Obama’s political home and is governed by his former White House Chief of Staff, Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Yet their efforts to restrict and control firearm ownership is obviously not working.
Chicago police blame the increased violence on gangs and retaliations, but the question that must be asked is where or how are these gang members getting their guns? Other than blaming Indiana’s lax gun laws the only other explanations are that gang members either steal guns from homes or illegally obtain them on the streets. The one thing that is obvious is that Chicago’s, Cook County’s and Illinois’ gun control laws are not stopping or even slowing down the rates of gun violence.