New UofC Crime Lab Analysis Shows Crime Gun Sources, Supports Passage of Gun Dealer Licensing Bill
CHICAGO—(ENEWSPF)—October 30, 2017
By: Mayor Emanuel’s Press Office
Mayor Rahm Emanuel yesterday announced the release of the 2017 Gun Trace Report. A collaboration between the Mayor’s Office, the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and the University of Chicago Crime Lab, this second Chicago Gun Trace Report analyzes data trends from thousands of crime guns recovered by the Chicago Police Department from 2013 to 2016. The analysis reveals that Chicago’s violence issues are directly linked to the number of illegal guns trafficked into the City’s streets from bordering cities and states with weaker gun laws, and supports the urgent need to pass the statewide Illinois Gun Dealer Licensing Bill.
“Children, families and all residents in every neighborhood of Chicago deserve to live free from violence and safe to pursue their dreams,” said Mayor Emanuel. “The Gun Trace Report once again shows that illegal guns, purchased outside of the city of Chicago and trafficked through an illegal and unregulated market, have a profound impact on the lives of Chicagoans. We must work to expand the City’s model of regulations to stop this flow of illegal guns at the source statewide.”
Gun Trace Report research shows that CPD continues to recover trafficked guns each year at a rate that is far above other major cities, including Los Angeles and New York City. For the past four years, CPD recovered close to 7,000 crime guns, or guns used or suspected of being used in a crime, each year.
“While we have made significant progress to reduce gun violence this year, the historical challenges we have seen in some of our communities on the south and west sides is directly affected by the availability of illegal guns that come into Chicago,” said CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson. “The data in this report shows the urgent need to pass the Gun Dealer Licensing Bill that will address straw purchasing and lax background checks that occur in Illinois. I believe it will go a long way to help to stymie the flow of these weapons onto our streets.”
The Gun Trace Report details that a handful of gun stores are responsible for a disproportionate number of guns used in crimes, with just ten dealers selling almost a quarter of crime guns recovered in Chicago. In addition, 60 percent of crime guns were traced to source dealers from out of state, including more than 20 percent from Indiana. The report also identifies that five of these top 10 dealers had over half of their traced crime guns recovered within three years of the original point of sale, a short time to crime.
“Solving this urgent public safety challenge will require a recognition that Chicago is not an island,” said Roseanna Ander, Executive Director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab. “Just as the benefits of the city’s economic vitality are broadly shared, so too is the responsibility for reducing the flow of illegal guns streaming across our borders.”
Chuck’s Gun Shop and Midwest Sporting Goods consistently remain as the top two source dealers of traced crime guns and are the source of more than one in ten crime guns recovered in Chicago. The remaining top ten source dealers include Westforth Sports in Gary, Indiana, Cabela’s in Hammond, Indiana, Shore Galleries in Lincolnwood, Illinois, GAT Guns in East Dundee, Illinois, Suburban Sporting Goods in Melrose Park, Illinois, Pelcher’s Shooter Supply in Lansing, Illinois, Blythe’s Sport Shop in Griffith, Indiana, and Sporting Arms and Supply in Posen, Illinois.
“The Brady Campaign applauds the city of Chicago for this important analysis,” said Avery Gardiner, Co-President of the Brady Campaign and Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “It is high time that we stop the flow of illegal crime guns to urban communities.”
The report also identifies comprehensive recommendations for state and federal solutions to enhance safeguards as firearms shift from the legal to the illegal gun market – both at the primary and secondary point of illegal sale. This includes the Illinois Gun Dealer Licensing Bill that the Illinois General Assembly will consider next week during the veto session. The statewide Gun Dealer Licensing Bill would provide sensible oversight over gun dealers to deter straw purchasers and give local law enforcement tools to aid in gun trafficking investigations.
“We need to regulate dealers at the state level and keep guns out of the wrong hands,” said Kathleen Sances, Executive Director, Gun Violence Prevention Action Committee. “It is our one job to keep our kids safe. SB1657 will require gun shops to conduct employee background checks, provide enhanced training to spot straw purchasers and stricter store security measures. These simple safety precautions will help.”
In 2014, following the release of the first Gun Trace Report that analyzed crime guns recovered between 2009 and 2013, Mayor Emanuel and the Chicago City Council passed a model gun dealer licensing ordinance. One of the toughest licensing laws in the country, the ordinance focuses on enhanced dealer regulations that are proven to minimize gun trafficking, straw purchasing, illegal gun sales and theft. These investigatory enhancements in the city ordinance are mirrored in the pending state law.
The complete Gun Trace Report can be found here.