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Mayor Proposes Adding Jail Time to Gun Violations

By Ted Cox | January 17, 2013 2:05pm
 Mayor Rahm Emanuel proposed padding jail time for gun violations.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel proposed padding jail time for gun violations.
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DNAinfo/Ted Cox

CITY HALL — Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Thursday proposed doubling the maximum jail time — to 180 days — for people who fail to report lost or stolen guns.

The new ordinance amendments to the City Council also include increased penalties for failing to report sold or otherwise transferred firearms.

The amendments were designed to avoid court battles by building on existing laws and simply increasing the penalties, although they would also expand the requirement to report to all gun owners.

Currently, only those with a Chicago Firearms Permit are required to report, a loophole for non-residents carrying weapons in the city.

Emanuel said the current city penalties were so low they were prosecuting violations under state laws.

"The Chicago Police Department is seizing more illegal guns than any other city in the nation, and this ordinance will help eliminate the number of illegal guns in our communities and increase the penalties for those who ignore the law and place others in danger," Emanuel said.

"Chicago will continue to lead the way in enacting the toughest gun-control measures possible while still respecting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens," he said.

Currently, failing to report a lost, stolen, sold or otherwise transferred gun within 48 hours can lead to a fine of $1,000 to $5,000 and jail time of 20 to 90 days.

The same increase in maximum penalties would apply to gun possession without a Chicago Firearm Permit, possession of unregistrable firearms, including assault weapons, and possession of high-capacity ammunition clips and metal-piercing bullets.

Emanuel said it would work in tandem with new countywide laws proposed Wednesday by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.