Why (almost) no one is charged with gun trafficking in Illinois
Some federal authorities and lawmakers want to create another tool. U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly, the Democrat whose district includes parts of Chicago’s South Side and some adjacent suburbs, has cosponsored the Gun Trafficking Prevention Act of 2017, which would ban the purchase or sale of a gun with the intent to transfer it illegally.
She said such a measure would be critical for the Chicago area because surrounding states have looser gun laws than Illinois. Only three Republicans have signed on as co-sponsors, though, and the bill has been buried in committee since it was introduced in March.
It just amazes me how they waste their time chasing rainbows.Federal laws limit the ability of authorities to keep records, so no national gun registry exists. Because each state has its own regulations, officials are often unable to determine the entire ownership history of a gun. Without that history, it’s a challenge for local prosecutors to show gun trafficking occurred.
“If a car is used in a shooting or robbery, I can easily find out, in a matter of minutes, who owned that car,” said Eric Sussman, a former federal prosecutor who’s now the top deputy to Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx. “Gun laws are intentionally set up where there is no searchable database.”