Mayor Proposes Strict Limits For Chicago Gun Shops
CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Emanuel administration has outlined a plan to impose strict regulations on gun shops that open within city limits, including a requirement to record every sale on video.
WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports the Emanuel administration and Chicago Police have created a report with the help of the University of Chicago Crime Lab, envisioning a plan to require gun store employees to submit to criminal background checks, and receive training on identifying potential gun traffickers.
Under Mayor Rahm Emanuel's proposed, gun shops in Chicago could not be located within 500 feet of a school or park – limiting them to very small pockets of the city covering less than .5 percent of Chicago.
The shops would have to install exterior lighting, surveillance cameras, and alarm systems, and provide secure storage of guns and ammunition. Police would have to approve a store's security plan before it could open.
Cameras would have to record all sales of guns, and shops would not be allowed to sell more than one handgun per month to a single customer.
"Now that we're required to allow gun sales within the city limits we do it in a way that does not undermine our public safety goals," said Emanuel said during a police awards ceremony.
CBS 2's Jay Levine reports many of the weapons used in crimes and confiscated by police have come from out of state. Others from just outside the city, from gun shops like Chucks, which a University of Chicago study found sold weapons which ended up in the hands of people who shouldn't have them. Chuck's had no comment when CBS 2 called Tuesday.
Ald. Walter Burnett Jr. (27th) said the regulations are a good start.
"This is just letting everyone know that we here in the city of Chicago are very serious about gun trafficking going on in the city of Chicago," he said. "So we want to make sure if a person is proposing to do some gun trafficking here, we want to limit them as much as possible."
Another alderman who had not seen the report said it sounds good to her so far.
The city really has no choice but to establish rules allowing gun shops to operate in the city. Earlier this year, a federal court struck down the city's ban on gun sales by licensed dealers as unconstitutional. Rather than appeal the ruling, the city successfully asked for 180 days to enact "reasonable and comprehensive regulations" for gun sales. That deadline is looming in July.
"I've asked the [Corporation Counsel] to go to court, ask for six months period of time not to implement what the court just decided, and allow us to come up with a responsible way to implement – within their strictures – which is to put a gun shop, or allow gun shops in the city of Chicago, but in a way that doesn't undermine the work that we are trying to do," Emanuel said after the judge's ruling in January.
A top aide to the mayor said New York City has required gun dealers to videotape the "point of sale" whenever someone buys a gun from a licensed dealer, after settling a 2006 lawsuit against 20 firearms dealers. Employees of New York gun stores also receive training from a retired federal agent on how to identify possible illegal gun traffickers.
Gun shops also would have to keep a log of all firearm sales in which a gun was later recovered in a crime, to help identify gun trafficking suspects if they later tried to buy more guns.
Peter A. Peterson, a Washington attorney for gun-rights advocates who sued the city over the store ban, said he could not comment until he sees the ordinance. Todd Vandermyde, a spokesman for the National Rifle Association in Illinois, also declined to comment.
Both men have previously said that the six-month time frame for coming up with regulations was too long.
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