CHICAGO — U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Ill.) clapped back at President Donald Trump's spokeswoman when she criticized Chicago's gun laws in the wake of the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history.
On Sunday night, a shooting in Las Vegas left at least 58 people dead and more than 500 wounded. It was the deadliest shooting in recent years for the United States.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, White House press secretary, said on Monday that the day should be a "a day of mourning," and not a day to discuss policy. But after that, Sanders was asked about gun control and turned the attention to Chicago and its struggles with gun violence.
"I think one of the things that we don't want to do is try to create laws that won't create or stop these types of things from happening," Sanders said. "I think if you look to Chicago, where you had over 4,000 victims of gun-related crimes last year, they have the strictest gun laws in the country. That certainly hasn't helped there."
Experts say Chicago doesn't really have the nation's strictest gun laws, and that many of the illegal guns in the city come from out of state. Sanders was quickly criticized — and got some support — for her comments on social media.
Among those who criticized Sanders was Kelly, who said that many of the guns used in Chicago's gun violence come from out of state — including from Indiana, where Vice President Mike Pence was governor, and from House Speaker Paul Ryan's home state of Wisconsin.
"More than ½ of #CHI crime guns come from outside IL, mostly from @VP's IN & @SpeakerRyan's WI. This is a reality," Robin tweeted to Sanders.
A 2014 report showed that the majority of Chicago's illegally owned guns are coming from out of state.
Almost 60 percent of the guns used to commit a crime in Chicago from 2009 to 2013 were first bought in the border states of Indiana and Wisconsin and in Mississippi, according to the Chicago Police Department. Those states do not require background checks for gun sales at shows or over the internet.
Sanders previously has drawn criticism for suggesting Chicago's gun crime was "driven more by morality than anything else."
Trump frequently took aim at Chicago's gun laws and its violence while on the campaign trail last year.
Sarah Sanders says today is a day of mourning and not a time to talk about gun policy or politics, then pivots to gun violence in Chicago.— Renee Bracey Sherman (@RBraceySherman) October 2, 2017
Sanders brings up Chicago's strict gun laws. Gun violence there is exacerbated by lax gun laws in neighboring states https://t.co/e0pUmS16ex— Marina Fang (@marinafang) October 2, 2017
Sarah Sanders: Today is all about uniting the country, but first here some Chicago dog whistles.— BWD 🤢 (@IrisRimon) October 2, 2017
Sarah Huckabee Sanders: "today is not a day for policy debate"— feminist next door (@emrazz) October 2, 2017
Sarah, next comment: "stricter gun laws aren't preventing deaths in Chicago"
Sarah Sanders really tried to take a Jab at Blacks in Chicago, somebody refresh my memory of the last time a Black Man shot over 500 people— Valencia Pearl (@Bmorepearl) October 2, 2017
Sarah Sanders said "If you look at Chicago..." during a question in relation to the Las Vegas massacre— thotsquiat. (@dyanayvette) October 2, 2017
Re Sarah Sanders Chicago reference: strong city and state gun laws will always be weak if neighboring cities and states are weak on guns.— John Stoehr (@johnastoehr) October 2, 2017
Did Sara Sanders just deflect to Chicago Gun violence, when asked about White House Laws for Gun Control in light of Vegas Shooting?#policy— Chanell J. Wilson (@ChanellJWilson) October 2, 2017