Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle lauded the passage by the Cook County Board yesterday of an ordinance requiring firearm owners to report the sale, loss, theft, destruction or transfer of firearms. The Chicago Sun Times reported that it passed "with zero debate or discussion" during the regular county board meeting, as commissioners approved the gun-control ordinance. The measure brings some uniformity on gun control in the county and Chicago.
Individuals who sell, lose, destroy, transfer or have their firearm stolen in the County, are now required to report it to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office within 48 hours. Firearm owners will be required to report the make, model and serial number of the firearm, along with the date and location of purchase. Individuals who fail to comply will be subject to a $1,000 fine for the first violation. The fine will be $1,500 for each gun on the second offense and $2,000 for each subsequent violation.
Cook County’s ordinance complements legislation proposed by the city of Chicago. The County and City are working together to increase coordination, step up enforcement and reduce the flow of guns on our streets.
“This ordinance is an important step to ensure that guns purchased legally do not wind up in the hands of criminals,” President Preckwinkle said. “We are giving law enforcement the additional tools they need to reduce the number of guns purchased legally that are used in shootings. This is part of a comprehensive effort to stop the violence plaguing our neighborhoods.”
"Practically speaking, the ordinance deters straw purchasers, protects rightful owners of firearms from being implicated in crimes, and prevents these deadly weapons from getting into the wrong hands," said Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D-7th), who co-sponsored the ordinance.
At the previous Cook County Board meeting on Jan. 16, 2013, a resolution was passed urging the Illinois General Assembly to adopt gun control legislation that would ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines; require registration of existing firearms and require background checks on all firearm sales at gun shows -- commonly referred to as the “gun show loophole.”
In the Illinois state senate during the lame-duck session, the "assault weapons ban" bill made it out of committee, but did not come to a floor vote in the Illinois state senate.
All of these measures have been vehemently opposed by the National Rifle Association and the Illinois State Rifle Association.
The NRA-ILA lobbied to not allow the vote to come to the floor for a vote in the recent lame-duck session.
The NRA-ILA has just learned that anti-gun legislators backed by Governor Quinn are deceptively trying to sneak through a new draconian gun ban as early as Wednesday while the legislature convenes for the Lame Duck Session from January 2 to 9.
You voted many of these anti-gun legislators out of office, and now, in their last days as law makers, they want to quietly trample on the rights of all law-abiding gun owners in Illinois.
The NRA-ILA can do little to stop the ordinance from passing before the Cook County Board of Commissioners, since President Preckwinkle has the votes for passage. Preckwinkle has long been a proponent of "common sense" gun laws to stop the senseless violence in the streets of Chicago and of Cook County.
“There needs to be a comprehensive effort from every level of government to keep military-style weapons designed for battlefields off our streets,” President Preckwinkle said. “I urge our representatives in Springfield to tackle common sense gun control legislation in the upcoming session.”
President Preckwinkle and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel penned a joint op-ed editorial in the Chicago Tribune pledging support for "gun control." In the piece, Preckwinkle and Emanuel said that they are "adopting a tag-team approach on gun ownership. Our goal is to increase coordination between the city and the county, step up enforcement and reduce the flow of guns on our streets."
The city of Chicago has "proposed broadening its requirement for reporting the loss, theft, sale or transfer of firearms. The city also wants to double jail time to six months for an array of gun offenses, including possession of a firearm without a permit."
Cook County is "proposing a similar reporting requirement. The ordinance would require individuals who lose, destroy, transfer or have their firearm stolen to report it to the sheriff's office within 48 hours. Those who fail to comply will be subject to a $1,000 fine for the first violation, $1,500 for each gun on the second offense and $2,000 for each weapon on the third offense."
The most significant part of the plan is that "gun owners will be required to report the make, model and serial number of the firearm, along with the date and location of purchase."
It is time for "common sense" gun control legislation whether on the local, state or federal level.
The Cook County ordinance goes into effect in August 2013.
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John is the author of an award-winning book, the 2010 Winner of the USA National Best Book award for African-American studies, published by The Elevator Group Mr. and Mrs. Grassroots: How Barack Obama, Two Bookstore Owners, and 300 Volunteers did it. Also available an eBook on Amazon. John is also a member of the Society of Midland Authors and is a book reviewer of political books for the New York Journal of Books