CITY HALL — The City Council Wednesday passed measures requiring that all gun transfers be reported and stiffening penalties for a number of firearm violations.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel cheered the ordinance amendments, saying they "will help eliminate the number of illegal guns in our communities" and put teeth in current gun restrictions.
"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," Emanuel said.
"Legal, law-abiding citizens should have no problem reporting transfers to the Police Department," said Ald. Harry Osterman (48th), calling it "a common-sense measure."
The new ordinance makes it a crime for anyone to fail to report the loss, theft, destruction, sale or transfer of any kind of firearm within 48 hours. Currently, only those with Chicago Firearm Permits are required. The additional restriction is meant to attack straw purchases of firearms.
Yet it also substantially increases the penalties for gun violations, starting with the failure to report transfers. Possible incarceration for failure to report would go range from 90 to 180 days. Currently, the penalty is 20 to 90 days.
Mandatory incarceration for illegal gun possession in the city would also increase to 90 to 180 days, as would the mandatory jail time for possession of metal-piercing bullets and high-capacity ammunition magazines.
Ald. Ameya Pawar (47th) proposed an additional ordinance requiring that gun owners have liability insurance, just as auto owners do. Emanuel said he was "very open" to the concept.