U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin started his public push for stricter gun laws — including a ban on assault weapons.
Durbin appeared Friday in Chicago with the city's Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy. The superintendent is a supporter of an assault weapons ban and the other bill Durbin co-sponsored that would crack down on people who buy guns for those who are prohibited by law from doing so. Durbin told reporters he is optimistic that the legislation will pass.
Chicago has been at the center of the gun debate since last year when the city had more than 500 homicides.
McCarthy says a national law toughening penalties on so-called straw purchasers would dramatically reduce the number of slayings in a city where officers seize more guns than any department in the nation.