Daley Wants Gun Laws, Blasts Feds' “Lack of Focus”

NRA: Mayor is talking about rationing a Constitutional right

Mayor Richard M. Daley is proposing new anti-gun legislation, while at the same time blasting the federal government for what he says is a lack of focus in combating violence in America.

The mayor all but suggested that federal prosecutors are spending more time on anti-corruption investigations than in rooting out the drug kingpins responsible for the carnage in U.S. cities.

"Someone takes a hundred dollars, could be a Chicago policeman or anybody else, the feds are right there knocking on your door," he said. "But they can't find the person accumulating all the money."

Daley is backing five new laws in Springfield aimed at curbing gun violence. He is asking that gun dealers be licensed by the state, not just by the federal government; that gun purchasers be limited to one gun a month; that law enforcement close the loophole wherein private sellers transfer guns between each other; a new statewide ban on assault weapons; and increased penalties for shootings on school property anywhere in the state.

"This is not Iraq!" he said. "This is not Afghanistan! This is not some third-world country."

The gun industry suggested the mayor's newest legislative agenda is a response to previous defeats in Springfield, especially his unsuccessful attempt to sue gun dealers for the cost of handgun violence.

"The civil lawsuit was unsuccessful in running gun dealers out of business in the state of Illinois," said Todd Van Der Myde, of the National Rifle Association. "So what you have is the mayor trying to set up another regulatory scheme, by which they can harass gun dealers who haven't done anything wrong."

On Daley's "one gun a month" proposal, Van Der Myde said, "You're talking about rationing an enumerated Constitutional right.  I don't think the court would accept a limit on one magazine per day, one newspaper per day, or one book per month."

Daley counterd that gun violence is "a national epidemic," arguing that he supports the Second Amendment and its guarantees on gun ownership.

"All of these proposals protect the rights of law abiding citizens, including hunters, to purchase guns," Daley said.

Already this year, the Chicago Police Department has seized 1,100 weapons, 263 more than this same time last year, the mayor said.

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