Story Summary

Reducing gun violence in Chicago

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy are working to decrease gun violence in the city of Chicago.

Most recently, Emanuel asked city pension and retirement fund managers to divest from gun makers, while McCarthy told the media of five changes he’d like to see in an effort to reduce gun violence.

The mayor and superintendent’s efforts come as Chicago battles continued gun violence. Last year, homicides jumped 16 percent in Chicago to 506.


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Mayor Rahm Emanuel will introduce two new ordinances at City Council Wednesday, in an effort to strengthen the assault weapons ban.

One of the ordinances would prohibit the sale and possession of assault weapons in the city.

Emanuel said in a press release that weapons designed for the battlefield don’t have a place on the streets of Chicago.

While the penalties for having an assault weapon would remain the same, the ordinance would include a new list of banned weapons that have advanced technology.

The second ordinance would make the punishment harsher for gun-related offenses in “student safety zones”.

Those zones are found near schools, buses, and parks across the city.

Anyone convicted of having a gun in a safety zone would face a fine of $1,000 to $5,000 for the first offense and a mandatory 30 days in jail.

A second offense would carry a fine of $5,000 to $15,000 and a mandatory three months in jail.

A third offense would carry a fine of $10,000 to $20,000 and a mandatory six-month jail term.

Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said that police have seized more than 1,825 firearms to date in 2013.

At a news conference Monday, McCarthy displayed 20 examples of firearms recently seized by police and discussed recent gun recoveries in the city. But, like McCarthy has said at past news conferences like this, gun seizures are not enough to truly reduce gun violence in Chicago.

“Folks, I’m going to close by saying the same thing I say every week. It’s simple: There’s way too many guns on our streets. They get there because of the structure of our guns laws,” McCarthy said.

A new tax on gun sales in Cook County takes effect Monday.

$25 will now be added to every gun sale in the county.

That tax is aimed at curbing taxpayer expenses linked to gun violence, including health care for gunshot victims and jail, and court costs for criminals.

A group of firearms dealers and gun owners have filed a lawsuit to stop the collection of the tax.

They say it violates their constitutional rights to keep and bear arms.

The county expects the new tax to generate an additional $600,000 this year.

The Chicago Police Department is now combating gang crime by putting boots on the ground, as well as tires.

24 rookie police officers have begun patrolling some of the city’s worst gang-crime zones on foot; others will be added as the police academy turns out more graduates.

The first area to get the new foot patrols is the South Side Gresham District.

The patrolmen will be backed up by more experienced officers patrolling in their squad cars.

Just 3 percent of the city accounts for 20% of its violence; the neighborhoods that make up that 3 percent will get most of the foot patrols.

Today Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy announced another anti-crime initiative and will increase the number of foot patrols in the city.

More than a dozen uniformed officers, fresh out of the academy and fresh from training will hit the streets to fight crime the old fashioned way: on foot.

The initiative got underway tonight at 79th and Cottage Grove.  Officers drove into the “hot zones” of one of the most talked about cities in the country. Chicago is trying to make gains when it comes to taking down gangs. Police superintendent Gary McCarthy thinks physically getting out of the squad cars and into the streets will make the difference.

For about a week now, young officers have traded in their patrol cars for their walking shoes. From 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. they will walk, interact and observe. Those are the hours when most gang violence erupts.

McCarthy is targeting 20 hot zones around the city. They make up only 3% of the city geographically but represent 20% of the crime in Chicago over the past 3 years, he says.

All officers just completed a 12 week field training.  More will be added with time as the next class of officers graduates.

The program is voluntary.

Chicago cops unveiled another layer to their anti-violence strategy on Monday

At a news conference, Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy announced that officers are now patrolling prioritized areas on foot as well as in vehicles as part of Operation Impact, targeting criminal activity in the 20 areas of the city with the most violent crime.

Officers will be assigned to the foot patrols in these areas following their completion of the Police Academy and a 12-week field-training program. Foot patrol teams will be comprised of a varying number of recruits, veteran police officers and an area supervisor.

“Residents in the prioritized zones will not just see more officers in patrol cars, they’ll see Chicago police officers literally walking their streets,” said Superintendent McCarthy. “We are calling it Operation Impact and in the coming months, these new foot patrols will be phased into all the zones.”

Superintendent McCarthy also announced that at the end of the first 12 weeks of 2013 more than 1,550 illegal firearms have been recovered from the streets of Chicago.

Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy says that about 130 guns are seized by police every week in the city.

He said that about 1,500 guns have been seized so far in 2013.

Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy will outline the newest component of his crime prevention strategy later Monday.

The plans will reportedly complement the recently implemented strategic saturation initiative, which has additional officers patrolling 20 areas of the city with the most violent crime.

The Chicago City Council has voted to expand the city’s gun offender registry.

The legislation, led by Ald. Ed Burke, passed late Wednesday morning.

It calls for an expansion of the city’s current gun registry.

Starting next month, any resident convicted of a violent crime with a gun would be required to register with Chicago police and check in with police every year for four years.

The policy would be similar to that of registered sex offenders.

Chicago’s City Council will decide Wednesday on expanding gun registry requirements.

Right now any resident convicted of unlawful use or possession of a firearm has to register with the police department.

A proposed amendment to that ordinance would add anyone convicted of committing a violent crime with a gun.

Offenders would also have to report, in person, to the police department every year of a four year registration period.

If the amendments passed, it goes into effect in April.