(CBS) CHICAGO - Chicago, which has about a third of the population of New York City, recorded three times more homicides than New York City in the month of January, CBS Chicago reports.
According to the station, there were at least 42 murders in Chicago last month, compared with 14 in New York City. It was the deadliest January in Chicago since 2002 when there were 45 homicides reported. Most, but not all, of the homicides last month were shootings.
CBS Chicago reports the violence in the city is mostly an epidemic of gang violence and the power struggles between scores of rival factions.
Although Chicago has one of the most stringent gun ownership laws in the nation, most criminals caught with illegal guns never do jail time, the station reports. In New York, an illegal gun conviction carries a mandatory three to five-year prison sentence.
Gun ownership was illegal in Chicago for years, until the Supreme Court ruled that ban unconstitutional. Now the city requires several steps to register a gun in the city.
CBS Chicago also points to a poor relationship between the Cook County prosecutors who take major crimes to trial, and the Chicago Police Department, reporting it is difficult to get murder cases closed in the city and therefore many murders remain unsolved.
Chicago also seems to have more weapons on the streets than New York. About 300 weapons were seized in Chicago in the first two weeks of 2013 alone, the station reports.