Chicago police announced late Monday that nearly 100 guns were confiscated off the streets of Chicago over the weekend, including a handful of semi-automatic weapons.
The seizure came amid a Father’s Day weekend that saw more than 50 people shot, including a 3-year-old boy and a man who was shot with an assault weapon outside a church, authorities said.
So far this year, the Chicago Police Department says it has taken more than 4,200 guns off the streets.
In a release, the department said while there is a “national conversation on the availability of high-powered weapons, the police department is seeing first-hand the devastation these weapons can cause on Chicago’s communities.”
“These guns are built for a battlefield, and they have no business on our streets,” Superintendent Eddie Johnson said in a statement. “While we will continue to proactively work to take guns off our streets, we need everyone to join us in our efforts to keep our neighborhoods safe and we need the rest of the criminal justice system to hold those who use these illegal guns accountable."
A divided Senate blocked rival election-year plans to curb guns on Monday, eight days after the horror of Orlando's mass shooting intensified pressure on lawmakers to act but knotted them in gridlock anyway — even over restricting firearms for terrorists.
With the first day of summer underway, the Chicago’s violence continues to be in the national spotlight.
On Sunday, a 21-year-old man was fatally shot outside Holy Cross Church in the city’s Back of the Yards neighborhood when a gunman with an assault weapon unleashed at least 40 rounds in the area. The shooting took place while churchgoers were attending a 1 p.m. inside the church.
"This terrible violence is destroying not only those killed and wounded, but all of us," Archbishop Blase Cupich said in a statement. "If we want to survive as a community that treasures life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, we must act now to put an end to this carnage. No doubt there are many causes, but we can start by getting these combat weapons off our streets. Not to act only gives in to the despairing falsehood that there is nothing we can do, which means that violence wins. This is a responsibility that belongs to all of us as citizens, especially to our elected officials. Let them hear our voices. Let us demand action today. Doing nothing is no longer an option."
Father Michael Pfleger, the outspoken pastor at St. Sabina’s church in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood, called on the state of Illinois to declare a state of emergency to bring more police officers to communities.
“We need to call a state of emergency and not be embarrassed by it, but get the federal resources so Eddie [Johnson] can hire more police so we can bring in more jobs,” Pfleger said. “So we can redevelop some of our communities that look like they’ve been hit by a tornado or a hurricane and bring back to our communities the equal opportunity our children deserve.”