Richard Daley proposes gun bills to state lawmakers - chicagotribune.com
Mayor wants new laws to restrict sales and stiffen penalties for criminals who use guns
By Hal Dardick, Tribune reporter
6:05 PM CST, March 8, 2010
Flanked by several parents who had lost children to gun violence, Mayor Richard Daley on Monday called for new laws to restrict gun sales and stiffen penalties for criminals who use them.
Although Daley announces new gun-control initiatives every year, this year's announcement took on added significance because the U.S. Supreme Court is weighing whether to overturn the city's handgun ban.
"The aggressiveness of the gun advocates is just one reason it's more important than ever that we work for common-sense gun laws focused on stopping the flow of illegal guns into our communities and keeping the guns out of the hands of the criminals," Daley said, standing next to tables loaded with weapons confiscated by Chicago police.
But Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association, which is a plaintiff in the Supreme Court case, said his group opposes the measures. They would not reduce crime but would make it more burdensome and costly for law-abiding citizens to obtain firearms, he said.
"It provides a smokescreen for the mayor and many of the aldermen, so they don't have to deal with the real problems in Chicago," said Pearson, whose group is backing legislation in Springfield that would let people carry guns in public.
Daley backed changes to state law that would require background checks for those buying a gun in a private sale, ban assault weapons, require that gun dealers be licensed and limit the number of handgun purchases to one per person per month. Those were all ideas that failed in previous legislative sessions.
This time, the mayor also is asking the General Assembly to make it a Class 1 felony to knowingly sell a gun to a known gang member, stiffen penalties for unlawfully using a weapon and require "micro-stamping" of guns that make it easier to match weapons used in crimes.