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The Myth of Chicago’s “Lax” Gun Laws

Friday, September 16, 2016

The Myth of Chicago’s “Lax” Gun Laws

The escalating murder rate in Chicago has given rise to a new claim – that Chicago gun laws are lax, weak, and ineffective. 

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson recently argued that “[i]f we had the gun laws in Chicago that L.A. and New York have, we would see our violent crime cut in half.”  New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton repeated the remark, declaring that Chicago’s problem “has to do with gun laws that just don't meet the reality of what's going on the streets.”  Even Dwyane Wade of the Chicago Bulls recently stated that “[t]here's other cities that have way tougher gun laws. We have weak gun laws and we have to do a better job of being leaders.”

The reality is that Illinois has some of the toughest gun laws in the nation. Indeed, even the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence ranks Illinois 8th among the ten states with the strongest gun laws and awarded it a B+ rating in 2015.

Under Illinois’ universal background check law, residents must show a state-issued Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card or concealed carry permit for all purchases of firearms or ammunition, whether from a licensed dealers or private seller.  Lost or stolen guns must be reported to the police within 72 hours.

Illinois is also one of only four states that imposes a waiting period on the purchase of all firearms – 72 hours for a handgun and 24 hours for a rifle or shotgun.  Automatic firearms, short-barreled shotguns, and suppressors are prohibited entirely.  Even muzzleloaders and black powder guns are considered firearms and subject to the background check requirement.

Illinois concealed carry laws are also among the most stringent in the country. Applicants are required to take a 16-hour training course – the longest in the nation.  While technically a “shall issue” state, law enforcement agencies still have limited discretion to object to an individual being granted a license. Illinois also refuses to recognize any other state’s concealed carry license.

While local restrictions on handguns are preempted under state law, Illinois state law recognizes any local “assault weapons” ban adopted before July 20, 2013.  The result is a patchwork of laws in 23 jurisdictions where a gun otherwise legal to own in some parts of the state is prohibited.  Any person traveling through the Chicago area with a firearm must carefully consider their route, especially if their trip takes them through a jurisdiction where Chicago, Cook County, or municipal restrictions have them unintentionally violating one of the local ordinances.  

In light of the above, there are many words that can be used to describe Illinois gun laws, but “lax” and “weak” are not among them.  This argument has everything to do with getting the public to focus on an irrelevant, but convenient, “answer” to Chicago’s ever-present and growing violent crime, and nothing to do with actually solving the problem.

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Turning a Right into a Privilege: HR 1112 Gives Feds Unfettered Power to Block Gun Sales

News  

Friday, February 15, 2019

Turning a Right into a Privilege: HR 1112 Gives Feds Unfettered Power to Block Gun Sales

H.R. 8, which would criminalize the private transfer of firearms, has received significant attention from the gun rights community. However, H.R. 1112, which purportedly targets the inappropriately-named “Charleston loophole,” is just as insidious an attack ...

Washington: Hearing for Bill to Expand Gun Seizures Without Due Process

Monday, February 18, 2019

Washington: Hearing for Bill to Expand Gun Seizures Without Due Process

On February 19th, the Washington state Senate Committee on Law & Justice will be holding an executive session on Senate Bill 5745 to expand the circumstances under which Second Amendment rights may be revoked without ...

H.R. 8 Markup: Liberal Democrats Markup Gun Control Legislation

News  

Friday, February 15, 2019

H.R. 8 Markup: Liberal Democrats Markup Gun Control Legislation

The Nancy Pelosi Speaker Era 2.0 continued on Wednesday, Feb. 13, with a markup of H.R 8, the “universal” background checks bill, in the House Judiciary Committee. Following on the heels of last week’s Judiciary Committee hearing, the same committee held a markup on ...

Texas: Setting the Record Straight On "Red Flag" Legislation

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Texas: Setting the Record Straight On "Red Flag" Legislation

Over the holiday weekend, a conservative "taxpayer watchdog" group sent out an email to its contact list which gave the impression that NRA-ILA supports "red flag" legislation in Texas.  One wonders what the organization hoped to accomplish by confusing and attempting to divide ...

Another Study Blames Guns, Excludes Reality

News  

Friday, February 15, 2019

Another Study Blames Guns, Excludes Reality

A study published in Preventative Medicine by Yu Lu and Jeff R. Temple concludes that “the majority of mental health symptoms examined were not related to gun violence. Instead, access to firearms was the primary culprit.”

California: City of Los Angeles Discriminates Against NRA Supporters

Friday, February 15, 2019

California: City of Los Angeles Discriminates Against NRA Supporters

This week, the City Council Members of Los Angeles showed their extreme distain of the Second Amendment, the NRA and our supporters.  On February 12, the City Council held the first reading of a proposed ordinance that ...

Polls: No Lasting Support for Gun Control One Year After Parkland

News  

Friday, February 15, 2019

Polls: No Lasting Support for Gun Control One Year After Parkland

Thursday marked the one year anniversary of the terrible crimes at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL. It was a somber occasion, but some media outlets couldn’t contain their glee this week that ...

Maryland: 2019 Legislative Session Begins with a Slew of Anti-Gun Bills Introduced

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Maryland: 2019 Legislative Session Begins with a Slew of Anti-Gun Bills Introduced

With the 2019 Maryland Legislative Session underway, gun control groups have made the General Assembly a target for their anti-gun agenda. 

Maryland: Please Attend House and Senate Committee Hearings on Gun Bills

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Maryland: Please Attend House and Senate Committee Hearings on Gun Bills

The House Judiciary Committee and the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee are scheduled to hold hearings on multiple gun bills in the coming days. 

Ohio: Legislative Fix Introduced to Correct Drafting Error

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Ohio: Legislative Fix Introduced to Correct Drafting Error

The Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee could soon consider Senate Bill 53. 

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.