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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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Wisconsin: Important Right to Carry Bill Introduced

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Wisconsin: Important Right to Carry Bill Introduced

Today, LRB 2039/1 was introduced to the Wisconsin State Legislature.  This Right to Carry bill would allow for the concealed carry of a firearm without a concealed carry license anywhere in the state where an ...

California: One Gun a Month Bill Pulled from Senate Public Safety Hearing

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

California: One Gun a Month Bill Pulled from Senate Public Safety Hearing

Today, Tuesday, March 28, anti-gun SB 497, was scheduled to be heard in the Senate Public Safety Committee.  At the last minute, the bill was pulled from today's agenda. Thank you to all who contacted the ...

Texas: Senate Passes SB 16, LTC Fee Reduction Bill, by Overwhelming Vote

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Texas: Senate Passes SB 16, LTC Fee Reduction Bill, by Overwhelming Vote

On Monday, the Texas Senate voted to pass Senate Bill 16, NRA-backed legislation sponsored by State Sen. Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville) and Joan Huffman (R-Houston), on a 26-5 vote.

Seattle Gun Tax Fails to Generate Projected Revenue, Succeeds in Burdening Rights

News  

Gun Laws  

Friday, March 24, 2017

Seattle Gun Tax Fails to Generate Projected Revenue, Succeeds in Burdening Rights

On March 16, 2017, the Seattle Times reported that Seattle city officials were reluctant to release data on the revenue generated by the city’s firearms and ammunition tax, citing taxpayer confidentiality concerns. Less than a ...

Virginia Action Needed: Governor McAuliffe Vetoes Self-Defense Bills

Monday, March 27, 2017

Virginia Action Needed: Governor McAuliffe Vetoes Self-Defense Bills

Following their passage in the Virginia General Assembly, Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed multiple self-defense bills; Senate Bill 1299, Senate Bill 1300, House Bill 1852, and House Bill 1853. 

News  

Monday, March 27, 2017

NRA Applauds Texas State Senate for Passing SB 16

The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action applauds the Texas Senate today for passing Senate Bill 16, legislation that substantially reduces License To Carry fees in the Lone Star state.

Georgia: Senate Passes Pro-Gun Bills – Governor Needs to Hear From You!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Georgia: Senate Passes Pro-Gun Bills – Governor Needs to Hear From You!

Today, the Georgia Senate passed pro-gun bills; House Bill 406, House Bill 292, and House Bill 280. 

The Washington Post Gives Gun Control Group and U.S. Senator Three Pinocchios on Suppressors

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Washington Post Gives Gun Control Group and U.S. Senator Three Pinocchios on Suppressors

Last week, we wrote about Americans for Responsible Solutions’ irresponsible misinformation about The Hearing Protection Act on Twitter.  Apparently, we weren’t the only ones who took notice of ARS’s complete disregard for the facts on ...

Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee Embraces Heller and Originalism During Senate Hearings

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, March 24, 2017

Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee Embraces Heller and Originalism During Senate Hearings

Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, President Trump’s pick to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme court, asserted during his confirmation hearings this week that Scalia’s landmark Second Amendment opinion in District of ...

California: Anti-Gun Bill Limiting Firearm Purchases to be Heard in Senate Public Safety on Tuesday, March 28

Friday, March 24, 2017

California: Anti-Gun Bill Limiting Firearm Purchases to be Heard in Senate Public Safety on Tuesday, March 28

On Tuesday, March 28, anti-gun SB 497, is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Public Safety Committee.  SB 497 would expand the existing one handgun a month law to include ALL guns.  

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NRA ILA

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.