Chicago police seized about 7,000 guns per year between 2013 and 2016 -- about half of which could be traced back to a point of purchase. About 25 percent of the guns found at crime scenes or used illegally were purchased at just 10 federally licensed retail gun shops in the Illinois and Indiana suburbs. That's according to a new report from the City, Chicago Police Department and University of Chicago Crime Lab, widely reported in the media, including this story in The Trace.
"In an unfortunate but persistent reality, certain retailers and jurisdictions disproportionately account for the guns trafficked into Chicago that sustain its illegal gun market and associated violent crime," the report said.
Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson used the gun trace report to call for changes in state law to regulate Illinois gun shops by requiring video surveillance of sales to deter straw purchasing and other measures. Independent research has shown that states that license and regulate gun dealers reduce in-state gun trafficking by 64 percent.
If you are an employer, you can hire young people at risk. If you are a community leader, you can help improve police-community relations. If you are a health care provider, you can support trauma-informed care to gun violence victims. If you are a funder, you can support any one of these efforts. Whatever you do, your voice matters when you speak up in support of policies that can make our neighborhoods safer. Reach out to learn more.