Guns Used in Violent Chicago Crimes Frequently Originate From Out of State

violent Chicago crimesCritics of tighter gun laws in America have frequently referred to the city of Chicago as an example of why gun laws are ineffective. Chicago has some of the strictest gun restrictions in the United States, yet still experiences abnormally high rates of gun related crime when compared to other cities. Gun rights supporters say this proves that tough gun laws do not truly keep guns out of the hands of criminals. A new report, however, shows that a large number of guns used in Chicago crimes crossed into the state from somewhere else.

Chicago has long grappled with high rates of gun violence. The Chicago Tribune reported that in 2014, 2,587 people were victims of gun violence. In comparison, New York City police recorded 1,381 victims over the same time period, and New York City has approximately three times the population of Chicago.

Despite Chicago’s tough gun restrictions, city officials say the problem exists because firearms remain widely available. Purchasing guns within the city is difficult, so how, with such tight regulations, are gun related crimes such a problem?

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) attempted to trace the origins of all guns recovered by law enforcement. Of course, not every firearm was able to be traced, but the data does show that a large number of weapons are being moved into Illinois across state lines.

From 2010 to 2014, researchers were able to trace 40 to 60 percent of the guns they obtained. A large number of them came to the city from other, less regulated parts of Illinois, but thousands of firearms also came from nearby states like Indiana and Wisconsin. That data shows that somewhere around 60 percent of guns used in crime statewide are imported from another state.

The research shows that a majority of imported guns come from Indiana—from 2010 to 2014, 3,269 guns used in crimes in Illinois originated from Indiana. Compared to Illinois, Indiana’s gun restrictions are relatively relaxed, making obtaining a firearm much easier. Additionally, experts say that Chicago gangs have connections to gangs in cities like Gary, Indiana, and believe that gang members are responsible for a majority of the gun trafficking across state lines. Indiana was not the only source for guns recovered in Illinois. Mississippi trafficked over 1,000 firearms, with Wisconsin coming in just behind at nearly 900. Four other states brought in over 500 weapons each, and many more were at the 400 mark.

A similar study conducted over a longer time period by the Chicago Police Department found similar results. Chicago Police traced the origin of around 50,000 firearms recovered in the city, and found that more than half of them came from across state lines.

Experts and city officials say Chicago gangs are responsible for a large majority of gun related crimes. They are typically skilled at accessing guns, and often engage in criminal activity.

Illinois is not the only state experiencing this problem. Guns are crossing state lines all across the country, leading to problems for government officials. The chief of the ATF even likened the problem to cockroaches. Once officials focus on one problem area and solve the problem, many more issues arise in it’s place.

If you are facing gun related charges, or any criminal charges, you need the assistance of a qualified Chicago criminal defense attorney. Contact us today to learn more about your options moving forward. The skilled team at the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney is available to assist you today. Call 312-270-0999 to get started.

Sources:

http://www.thetrace.org/2015/11/chicago-gun-laws-shootings-trafficking/

http://mic.com/articles/127842/this-is-how-chicago-gets-flooded-with-illegal-guns#.t4X6NrA9y

http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-10-06/the-problem-with-using-chicago-to-make-the-case-against-gun-control

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