Put sensible limits on gun stores to prevent illegal trafficking

Chicago has many law-abiding gun owners who handle their weapons safely and responsibly. The ordinance proposed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to regulate gun sales in the city is not about them. It’s about Chicago’s other gun owners: violent thugs who kill innocents as well as each other while terrorizing countless citizens with the ever-present threat of death by bullet.

That’s what the mayor’s proposal aims to do. The city undertook a study, with the help of the respected University of Chicago Crime Lab, which found that Chicago police recover seven times more guns, per capita, than the New York police and more than twice as many as the Los Angeles police. Nearly 60 percent of the guns were brought in other states. Almost 20 percent came from four gun shops near Chicago — three in the suburbs and one in Gary.

What this evidence proves is that the practices of gun stores greatly affect whether firearms end up in the hands of people who are not supposed to own them. The ordinance is an effort to eliminate bad practices and thus curb the supply of illegal weapons.

Among its requirements: Stores would have to do fingerprinting and background checks on all employees, install an alarm system and surveillance cameras to prevent thefts, limit sales to one handgun per month to any one person, and videotape sales to deter buyers who use false identification. After gun stores in New York agreed to similar standards, there was a big reduction in the number of illegal guns traced to those stores.

It wouldn’t infringe on anyone’s Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. Anyone legally allowed to have firearms will be able to go into a store in Chicago and buy them.

Read full story here at Chicago Tribune.

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