(CBS) -- Superintendent Eddie Johnson says the violence in Chicago won't let up until gun laws change. He hopes pending legislation will finally pass in January.
WBBM's Lisa Fielding reports.
"I've been working with lawmakers since July. Gun offenders get slaps on the wrist in this city, and it has to stop," Johnson said Friday. "I need our judicial partners and our state legislators to close this gap."
Johnson says weak gun laws in Illinois lead to a revolving door in the criminal justice system. As an example, he highlighted the case of Jeremy Terry, a 21-year-old convicted felon who had his first gun arrest in February.
Terry pleaded guilty and was sentenced to boot camp and then paroled in August, Johnson says.
Three months later, Terry was arrested in November with another illegal gun, the superintendent said.
"This is exactly what I've been talking about. They think our justice system is a joke. This was an individual who was let off easy every time he stepped into a courtroom. This happens time and time again on a regular basis," Johnson says.
Johnson says his department recovered nearly 8,000 guns – up 8 percent since last year.
"The police are getting the guns off the streets, that's the not the problem. But these offenders aren't staying in jail," he says.
"They get out and pick up a gun again. This isn't OK. This is more than just action on a piece of paper. This is life and death. Families are paying a price for every day we don't act."
for more features.