On Wednesday, CBS 14 reported that Mayor Rahm Emanuel introduced his proposal for stricter gun control to the Chicago City Council. In his proposal, which is a response to a court order overturning the city’s ban on handgun sales, gun shops would not be allowed to operate within 500 feet of schools or parks and must operate only in specific commercial areas. Essentially, it would rule out about 99.5 percent of the city as viable operating grounds for gun shops.
The proposal also states that all gun sales must be videotaped and that there will be a limitation of one sale per buyer per month, a 72-hour waiting period for handguns, a 24-hour waiting period for rifles and shotguns and all store employees will have to undergo background checks.
Emanuel’s stance on the proposal is that gun control is essential for public safety and with his proposal, he says that gun sales will still be allowed but without public safety being sacrificed. According to the Associated Press, a Chicago City councillor, Joe Moreno, believes that the proposal will become law.
The Chicago Sun-Times writes that Emanuel is targeting gun traffic by restricting the number of purchases that can be made, but they also point out that many of the illegal guns in Chicago were actually purchased elsewhere, oftentimes right outside of Chicago.
So what exactly is the mayor going for by targeting legal gun sales? He knows his problem lies in other cities with lax gun laws and Internet purchasing. Gun trafficking can still happen, though it might be harder for groups to only be able to recycle dummy gun purchasers every month.
Maybe he’s hoping other cities will adopt his proposal as well, but this seems like a strange route to take to solving one of the city's largest problems. For now, it seems that the mayor was really just doing busy work on the day this proposal came together; he’s just doing work to say he’s doing it.
Hopefully, this is a step in the right direction for reducing gun violence in Chicago, but it seems that this will be ultimately a misstep.