Proposed ordinance would require all victims of stolen firearms to report the theft within arbitrary time period - or face hefty fines!
Today, Cook County Commissioners trotted out their latest in a series of affronts to law-abiding gun owners: an ordinance that does not even attempt to go after the criminal, but – literally -- makes the victims of crime pay! The proposed ordinance, sponsored by County Commissioners Toni Preckwinkle, Jesus Garcia, John P. Daley, Edwin Reyes and Larry Suffredin, says that after 48 hours of when the firearm should have been known to be either lost or stolen, the victim of the gun theft is in violation. If a theft of a firearm is not reported to Cook County and local law enforcement entities are not notified within this arbitrary period of time, law-abiding gun owners will have to pay a fine ranging from $1,000 to $2,000 – on top of being robbed already! This penalty would apply not only to residents of Cook County wherever the loss, destruction, or theft took place, but to any person who owns or possesses a firearm and resides outside of Cook County who loses, destroys, transfers or is robbed of the firearm in Cook County.
Further, mandatory reporting requirements have nothing at all to do with the actual circumstances of the loss, but instead focus on gathering information on the gun owner – are law enforcement officials not to even attempt to investigate the crime or recover stolen property but just penalize the victim again? The police should be focused on locating the criminal and penalizing the person responsible. Nothing in this ordinance even speaks to the idea of locating the perpetrator of the theft, but is only one more attack on an entire body of the law-abiding and innocent just because politicians disagree with their exercise of the civil liberty that is lawful firearm ownership. This ordinance clearly does not even attempt to stop crime and adds insult to injury. Do county politicians actually think that gun owners want to have their firearms lost or stolen, and then deliberately avoid reporting it?
This ordinance will be considered in the upcoming weeks. Your NRA-ILA will continue to keep you updated on this matter. It is important that you contact your Cook County Commissioners IMMEDIATELY and tell them to oppose this proposed ordinance that would have no effect on crime, but would only further punish already victimized individuals.
Contact information for Cook County Commissioners can be located here.