How Tough Guns Laws Fail Terrorized Chicagoans

Gun control has been a highly debated topic. Many on the left want to see more stringent gun regulations become law.

Yet all they have to do is to look at one place in that state of Illinois that proves that strict gun laws don’t stop gun crimes — Chicago.

Chicago is the third-largest city in the United States but it ranks first in gun deaths. No other city is even close. It has averaged more than 4,000 shooting victims since 2016, with close to 900 deaths.

The gun homicide rate is 25.1 residents per 100,000 as compared to 14.7 in Philadelphia and 2.3 in New York City.

Chicago also had a rate of 243 guns recovered per 100,000 residents. That’s comparable with Philadelphia but almost double the rate of Los Angeles and New York.

Nevertheless, Illinois is one of the strictest in the country when it comes to gun control. The state is one of seven that requires either a license or permit to buy a gun. It’s also one of five that requires a waiting period.

The city tried to ban handguns in city limits, but in 2008 the Supreme Court ruled that unconstitutional. It had a gun registry dating back to 1968, but that was eliminated by a 2013 decision by Illinois to allow the concealed carry of weapons.

Illinois consistently gets high rankings from sources like The Gifford Law Center and The Law Center to Prevent Gun violence. The state has either received a B+ or a A for their gun laws.

Shifting the blame

California, however, has the toughest gun control laws in the country. It requires licenses and permits for a gun as well as the waiting period. The state has banned the open carry of guns and requires background checks on private firearm sales.

Much like Illinois, California borders states that have some of the most liberal gun laws, such as Arizona and Nevada. Yet, no city in California is going through the crisis like Chicago is going through.

Stil, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot places the blame of her city’s gun problem on guns from out of state. Just recently, the city sued an Indiana gun store it claimed was a source for weapons for many of the gangs within the city.

Lightfoot looks to a study from 2017, that claims 60% of guns used in Chicago murders came from outside of Illinois’ borders. That study was conducted from 2013 to 2016 and was based of guns that were confiscated during criminal acts.

Yet a third of those guns were confiscated within the city, including from seven of the top 10 dealers. And 11.2% of those guns recovered came from just two city dealers.

Lightfoot also looks to the assault weapons ban. The stats would suggest that it wouldn’t help her problem. In 2018, there were 894 murders in Illinois: 592 were using handguns, 14 rifles, and four with shotguns. Also, more than 100 killings were committed using knives and other sharp objects.

Among all the illegal guns collected during this period, more than 14,000 were either handguns, rifles, or shotguns.

With the Covid-19 pandemic, crime continues to rise within the city. The challenge for Lightfoot will be if her administration can crack down on what is happening inside the city limits.

Her focus is on the outside for the moment, though the crime is happening on the inside.