Chicago has a solid reputation for having toughest gun laws in the United States. Ironically, the city has experienced an increase in homicides and shootings over the past year. As of December 2015, the Chicago Police Department confiscated a total of 6,521 guns. In fact, the number of guns recovered from Chicago trump the number of guns confiscated in New York and Los Angeles combined.
A Steady Influx of Guns
There is not a single gun store in Chicago. In spite of the city’s restrictive gun regulations, however, there has still been a steady flow of firearms into the city. Last year, President Barack Obama held a conference in Chicago in an effort to push for stricter federal gun laws. In his speech, he was quick to mention that the shootings aren’t a result of Chicago’s failed gun laws. In fact, 60% of the guns confiscated in Chicago came from neighboring states with a lax gun policy, such as Indiana and Wisconsin.
Are Violators Serving Enough Prison Time?
Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy has noted that illegal gun possession only merits a short prison sentence in the city. For example, the standard minimum prison sentence for illegal gun possession in New York is usually around three and a half years. In contrast, those charged with the same crime in Chicago had a more lenient sentence. In general, they only had to serve six months in prison.
Several Chicago residents have risen up in protest and filed a lawsuit against neighboring cities citing lax policies as the cause to the increased exposure to guns and the compromised safety of citizens.
Gun crimes in Chicago have gone up in recent years. Perhaps residents cannot control the influx of firearms from neighboring states or the jury’s decision on prison sentences. Every person, however, deserves the right to proper representation when accused of a gun crime in the courtroom. If you need a solid defense against a gun policy violation, you may opt to consult a criminal defense attorney in Illinois for your own peace of mind and security.