Allow Time for Gun Safety in Illinois Legislature’s Fall Veto Session | Editorial

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Illinois lawmakers are expected to turn their attention away from maps, maps, maps in their veto session next month to address four important gun safety issues.

Redrawing the legislative and congressional maps that will shape Illinois’ elections over the next 10 years will be a tedious process in the next session, which will only last six days out of two weeks later this month. We understand this. And every legislator is naturally extremely concerned about what their district will look like.

Other big issues may also be on the table, including the right to abortion for minors and the amendment of the Law on the right of conscience in health care.

But still, legislation that could make a difference in cracking down on gun violence that has beset Chicago and other cities in Illinois should not be overlooked. We urge lawmakers to address at least these four questions:

“Phantom weapons” Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart and State Senator Jacqueline Collins, D-Chicago, on Thursday called for a ban on “ghost guns,” which are guns that buyers assemble on their own. same. Ghost guns, which have no serial numbers and cannot be traced, appear more and more frequently on the streets. Because the kits for the weapons, which can be delivered almost fully assembled, do not require a background check, criminals prohibited from purchasing normal weapons can easily purchase them.

Illinois recently enacted helpful law that requires firearms to be traced through background checks, even at private sales. Phantom weapons weaken this law.

Mentions of phantom weapons are increasingly common in police reports. According to Dart’s office, the number of phantom guns recovered by law enforcement increased by nearly 400% across the country between 2016 and 2020. On Tuesday alone, San Diego police seized 45 phantom guns during of a raid.

It is important for police to be able to trace firearms, as this is how many violent crimes are solved. Additionally, gun tracing allows law enforcement to hold straw buyers accountable when their guns show up at crime scenes.

The legislation proposed by Dart and Collins would ban privately manufactured firearms unless they are registered with the state and have a serial number.

Guns in Cook County Forest Reserves On September 13, US District Judge Robert Dow ruled that a ban on carrying concealed firearms in the 70,000 acres of forest reserves is unconstitutionally broad. Instead of ordering his decision to be immediately implemented, Dow gave the legislature until March 15 to set the law to keep it within constitutional limits, perhaps by defining more clearly what makes reservations. forestry in “sensitive areas”. The legislator should do it.

Forest reserves have traditionally been idylls where people can escape the hectic urban environment. In the summer, large groups fill the groves for barbecues, and the presence of alcohol does not mix with firearms. People go to forest reserves hoping to see natural landscapes and wildlife, not guns.

Gun crime has spread to all kinds of areas where it was previously rare. Highway shootings are approaching 200 this year, up from 52 in 2019. Armed carjackings have nearly doubled this year and are spreading to the suburbs. Bullets have been flying in large numbers recently along Irving Park Road, Wicker Park, Austin, Englewood, Grand and Milwaukee near downtown and elsewhere. In Chicago, four people were killed and 38 were injured over the past statutory holiday weekend.

It would be tragic if the groves, meadows, footpaths and cycle paths of the Forest Reserve District were added to the places people hesitate to venture. And if the ban on firearms in forest reserves falls, what will happen to the bans on firearms on public transport, in places of worship, or in other areas where firearms are used? are now banned?

Defend your territory More than half of the states in the United States have enacted “stick with it” laws, which result in more homicides because they allow people to use lethal force in public, even if they could have walked away. safety of an incident. Laws are also called “shoot first” laws because they encourage quick triggers. Illinois did not enact such a law, but the courts here have ruled that people have no duty to retreat, which enshrines a similar idea in case law and jury instructions.

While Illinois case law doesn’t go as far as laws enacted in other states, any kind of rule of thumb can make people believe they have a right to shoot first.

Case law can be set aside by the legislator. On these issues, lawmakers should do so.

Lost and stolen weapons Illinois has passed a law requiring the reporting of lost and stolen firearms in order to combat gun trafficking. But police say the penalties are so low it’s easy to ignore the law.

“The General Assembly could move very quickly” on this issue, said Kathleen Sances, president and CEO of G-PAC, a gun safety group.

Recently, the Chicago Police Department assigned about 50 additional police officers to investigate gun trafficking. Tougher penalties for not reporting lost or stolen guns would help them get the job done.

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