ENGLEWOOD — It's time to track all the bullets flying in Illinois, local leaders say.
State Rep. Sonya Harper (D-Chicago) announced proposed legislation Tuesday that would require all ammunition sold in Illinois to contain serial numbers.
“Since we are having such a hard time tracking the flow of illegal guns into our communities, let’s start tracking the bullets,” Harper said at a media conference at U.S. Bank, 815 W. 63rd St., in Englewood. “More than 2,600 people have been shot in the city of Chicago so far this year, many of them children in my own community. Being able to track fired bullets directly back to the seller will help law enforcement agencies target those who are distributing ammunition illegally.”
Ald. Toni Foulkes (16th), Ald. David Moore (17th) and Teamwork Englewood Executive Director Perry Gunn joined Harper, along with Matt Harrington, CEO of Ammo Coding Systems, which makes the bullets.
Her district includes the neighborhoods of West Englewood, Englewood, Back of the Yards, Bridgeport, Chicago Lawn, New City, Canaryville and Fuller Park.
Ammo Coding Systems' website says that serial numbers on bullets could be tracked in cases where shots were fired but someone isn't injured or killed, meaning police could then track where the bullets were sold and to whom.
“Ammo Coding Systems exists to track ammunition from creation to the point of sale, leaving a precise footprint of everywhere the ammunition travels,” Harrington said.
A company PowerPoint breaks down the serialization process as follows:
• Laser serialize bullets and casings
• Scan drivers license information and unique serial number for each handgun bullet within each box at point of sale
• Access law enforcement systems to query from the field on bullets and casings found
• Potentially link purchaser to a crime or crime series
When the barcode on the bullets is scanned, an identifying serial number will be saved in a database. Having serial numbers on the bullets will assist law enforcement by giving them a "real tool to solve crime," Harrington said.
The company is originally from Seattle, but Harrington said he's moving his headquarters to Chicago in 2017. There's currently an office in Washington, D.C. and a backup facility in Aurora, IIl.
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