December 25, 2016
“How are those gun laws working out for you in Chicago?” It is the most common, snide remark we hear at NGVAC along with “F– you you anti-freedom, anti-American libtrards.”
For five years we have pointed out that almost 60 percent of crime guns recovered in Chicago were originally sold in states with weaker laws. Since 2009, more than 1,500 guns found at crime scenes in Chicago have come from one gun store, Chuck’s Gun Shop in suburban Riverdale. Chuck’s along with three other gun sellers not within Chicago city limits provided 20 percent of Chicago’s crime guns between 2010 and 2014.
The weapons used by gunmen to shoot two Chicago police officers and shoot at a downtown commuter train, crimes within days of each other in October 2014, came from–any guesses?–Indiana, the home state of Vice President-elect Pence.
Gun advocates like to play dumb about Chicago but they are the first ones to see why only federal laws work when it favors them. Who remembers the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre accusing home rule communities with laws restricting guns of “nullifying the right to carry” because people “could drive on their highways with the guns, but they couldn’t stop anywhere”?
The gun lobby loves to say that we do not need new gun laws; that we have enough already that simply need to be enforced and besides laws “don’t work.” Chicago is proof. Yet it is the gun lobby that used the same jackbooted lawmakers it hates to pass the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (that says you can’t sue gun makers) and the Tiahrt Amendments that prohibit using evidence of a gun dealer’s link to crime guns to revoke his license and prohibit the FBI retaining records of gun buyers who pass the National Instant Criminal Background Check beyond 24 hours.
I wanted to “make sure I was fulfilling the needs of my friends who are firearms dealers,” admitted Representative Todd Tiahrt (R-KS) when he spearheaded the Amendments.
Now, with Trump elected, the gun lobby is pushing for a federal “carry reciprocity” law that would allow concealed carry permit holders “a unilateral right to move between state lines.” Why shouldn’t someone granted the right to carry a gun in a state that requires no permits or no training whatsoever–yes there is a growing number!–not be able to walk down Fifth Avenue?
Chicago is far from the only city that is a violent casualty of guns trafficked from states with looser gun laws and a lack of federal laws. New York police officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos and Omaha Police Officer Kerrie Orozco were all killed with guns purchased from the same Georgia gun dealer reported New York Daily News last year. The gun lobby yells when local laws nullify the “right to carry.” How about when laws in loose gun states nullify law enforcement officers themselves?