Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Emanuel to Propose New Gun Control Ordinance

Mayor says "common sense" measures would complement crime-fighting strategy, pass legal muster

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel says new gun control measures he'll introduce next week will complement his overall crime-fighting strategy.

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He was scant on details, but Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Thursday said he will propose new gun control measures in an upcoming City Council session that he says are "common sense" and will withstand legal challenges.

"I will not wait when it comes to protecting our neighborhoods, our communities, our children [and] our residents of the city of Chicago," the mayor send in a Q&A session with reporters following the annoucement of expanded after school educational opportunities for Chicago students.

His move comes after a lame duck Illinois General Assembly failed to pass a proposed ban on assault weapons. The new Legislature was sworn in Wednesday.

"Waiting is not a strong suit of mine," he said in the Budlong Woods Library before reiterating his call for the ban, a limit on the size of clips allowed for sale, and comprehensive background checks at every point-of-sale.

"It will compliment our activities of putting more police on the street, having after-school programs ... It will complement our gun seizures. It will compliment what we have done in arresting more gangbangers than in years past. On the other hand, it does not stand alone without Springfield taking action or Washington taking action," the mayor said.

Emanuel said that despite the General Assembly's inaction, there is overwhelming support of his the changes he's proposing throughout the state and in the city of Chicago as seen in public opinion polls.

"I also believe there is a majority in the Legislature. If there isn't today we're going to build one," he said.

A federal appeals court last month ruled that Illinois' concealed carry ban was unconstitutional. That decision has been appealed and the mayor said his proposal would not include a provision allowing citizens to carry firearms.

"I can do certain things in the city," Emanuel added. "We're going to take those steps and do that. ... I hope it will be a spur to action for Springfield to take the steps that are necessary for them."

The mayor acknowledged the possibility of additional legal wrangling over what he's proposing but said his actions are clear and Constitutional and necessary for the public safety," adding that his administration has already discussed his plan with the city's legal department.

"We believe this stands the muster of the court," he said.

Elsewhere Thursday, Sen. Dick Durbin was meeting with top law enforcement officials from throughout the state in advance of next week's release of recommendations by the White House's Gun Violence Prevention Task Force

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