Existing gun laws need much tougher enforcement

Stop enacting new gun laws. What will stop gun violence is draconian enforcement of all existing gun laws and a separate charge (and prison time) for each law broken.

SHARE Existing gun laws need much tougher enforcement
Seized guns are displayed during a press conference at the Chicago Police Department headquarters,

Seized guns are displayed during a press conference at the Chicago Police Department headquarters,

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Regarding Connie Orland’s letter to the editor on Feb 8: Most of her suggestions have already been implemented here in Illinois and have failed to stop gun violence. 

As a private citizen, it is already illegal to sell a gun from the trunk of your car, unless both seller and buyer possess valid Illinois State Police Firearm Owners Identification cards (FOID). The seller must submit/check the buyer’s FOID card number on the state police website to see if it is valid, and wait the required number of days before the gun is turned over (24 hours for long guns and three days for handguns). 

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As to her other points, every legal gun owner in Illinois is already registered by having a valid/current FOID card as above. There are already fines for trying to purchase guns without one, and there are much stricter prison terms for using guns in the crimes she mentioned. 

Any private sale (including gun shows) needs to follow the rules above, submitting the buyer’s FOID number for verification by state police. The idea of having a photo ID was implemented years ago when Illinois started the FOID program. All private sellers need to keep copies of all records of any sale in Illinois, as do any federally licensed dealers.

Orland claims gun control is not working. The reason is that criminals do not care about gun laws and know the penalties are often a judge slapping them on the wrist. 

What will stop gun violence is draconian enforcement of all existing gun laws and a separate charge (and jail time) for each law broken. A person under 21 with a handgun breaks the law. Shooting a gun from a car is another law broken. Having that gun concealed breaks the law. Having a loaded gun with easy access in a car is breaking the law. Discharging that gun within the city limits (in most cases) is breaking the law. 

Thus, using a gun in a crime creates any number of broken laws. Just displaying a gun would be aggravated assault, which is a Class A misdemeanor with a penalty of up to one year imprisonment, a fine up to $2,500, or both; probation for up to two years; and restitution.

Committing the violations above, and giving the offender two years in prison for each, with consecutive sentences, would keep them off the streets for over 12 years. 

My suggestion: Stop making new gun laws until you are seriously willing to enforce all existing gun laws. 

M.J. Smith, Oak Lawn

Lolla in Grant Park

The article about Mayor Lightfoot looking at various alternatives for the Solder Field-Museum Campus was right on. Indeed, it would be perfect for Lollapalooza.

It offers more than enough space for the 100,000 attendees and avoids Lollapalooza colonizing Grant Park, destroying the softball fields and denying Chicago the use of the park’s grass area.

But, sadly with Lollapalooza appealing to Chicago’s 1%, that is not likely to happen.

James Murray, Loop

Forgetting to pay debts

Claiming forgetfulness for not paying Washington Bank loans, as in the Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson case, only applies if you have also forgotten to pay other bank loans, credit cards, and other debts for years straight. 

Tom DeDore, Garfield Ridge

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