Thousands of African-American children in Chicago have endured an epidemic of gun violence for years.
Forty per cent (40%) of the guns being used in gun-related crime in Chicago are purchased at gun stores in Illinois, most in suburbs nearby Chicago. Seven gun shops provide most of these weapons.
These Illinois gun dealers are:
Chuck's Gun Shop in Riverdale, IL
Midwest Sporting Goods in Lyons, IL
Shore Galleries in Lincolnwood, IL
GAT Guns in East Dundee, IL
Suburban Sporting Goods in Melrose Park, IL
Pelcher's Shooter Supply in Lansing, IL
Sporting Arms & Supply in Posen, IL
Large numbers of guns purchased from these dealers were used in crimes within one year of their purchase. So, Suburban Sporting Goods in Melrose Park, IL sold 85 guns used in Chicago crimes in 2016 alone, and 46% of these guns were sold less than a year before their use in these crimes. 68% of the "crime guns" sold were used by criminals within three years of purchase. Chuck's Gun Shop in Riverdale, IL sold 997 "crime guns" during the period 2013-2016, and 21% of their guns were used in Chicago crimes within one year. Ninety-two percent of the "crime guns" sold by these stores are handguns.
During the 2013-2016 period, federally-licensed gun dealers in Illinois reported that 1,200 guns were lost or stolen from these dealers prior to any sale. ... Chuck's Gun Shop alone reported 43 guns stolen between 2013 and 2016.
As a matter of law, the regulation of gun trafficking in Illinois is a state matter, over which the State of Illinois has claimed preemption, 430 ILCS 65/13.1. The only way to limit the flow of "crime guns" from Illinois gun dealers into the City of Chicago is for the State of Illinois and its Department of State Police ("the State Police") to exercise the authority the state legislature has provided, and both adopt and enforce meaningful rules on the trafficking and storage of guns.
The State Police, however, have never adopted regulations that meaningfully keep guns out of the hands of non-licensed persons. ... Nor have the State Police adopted regulations that would make the FOID permit and background check system a meaningful barrier to the purchase of "crime guns" either in the primary market, i.e. at federally-licensed gun stores, or in the secondary market.
Without any change in Illinois law, and without any cost to the State of Illinois, the State Police can today ... impose on all federally-licensed Illinois gun dealers and gun show promoters mandatory obligations:
To participate in the implementation of a State Police firearms registration system
If 40% of so-called "crime guns" originate in sales from Illinois gun stores, then 60% of them don't. I'm not sure that's significant, though. They have to come from somewhere. They don't just spring into existence in the possession of criminals. Note that the statistic is not that 40% of all guns sold in Illinois are used in crimes. Likewise the statistics of the listed gun stores state what percentage of guns used in crimes were used within one year of purchase, not a percentage of total sales that were used in crimes. For example, the statistic is not that 21% of Chuck's gun sales were used in crimes, although I get the impression that that's how I'm supposed to misinterpret it. (Meanwhile, I think I am impressed at the total volume of guns Chuck's seems to sell at retail prices, assuming the unstated majority of their sales are indeed to law-abiding individuals. Business is good just on the other side of the city limits.)
The suit essentially requires that the ISP adopt and enforce regulations on gun shops, mostly similar to those in the proposed gun dealer licensing regulations. Would gun dealer licensing make this case moot?
The stolen gun statistics do look pretty bad. Gun shops already keep records of who buys what guns legally, although the language of the complaint makes it sound like gun shops are willfully selling guns to Illinois residents without FOIDs. I'm not sure how a firearm registry is going to help stop crime. Are criminals supposed to register the guns that they steal with the ISP? How is the ISP supposed to compel that by leaning on gun shops? I'm pretty sure gun shops already report what guns are stolen when they report a theft.
If someone comes in and fills out a 4473, is approved, and buys a gun, why should it be your responsibility what they do with it afterwards? Do we hold car dealerships accountable for drunk drivers? Of course we don't.
This is a gun grab, plain and simple, and an attempt to close the few stores left in the Chicago area as it is.
If a store decided to ban buyers who lived in Austin, how would that look? But if there is a high incident rate of crime is happening there, what can a law-abiding FFL do to stop it? It's not their job. It is the job of the police, the mayor's office, and the community to solve this problem.
Looking for more scapegoats won't solve the problem in the least. Asking the hard questions about why so much disinvestment has happened and how to change that, will.
Now let's look at the other "problem" that Antis in Chicago and the suburbs love to talk about: Indiana.
It's SOOOO easy to buy guns in Indiana, according to Antis. And of course, guns lead to problems, right? So if that were true, Indiana would be a warzone just like Austin... but it's not.
So the problem isn't guns. The problem is crime. The problem is a culture of crime, and we can talk about the root causes of those criminal behaviors, and probably get somewhere if action is taken on that. But violence caused with a gun is a symptom of something else, it's not a root cause of any issues in the Austin neighborhood or anywhere else for that matter.