Emanuel denies videotaping is attempt to intimidate gun buyers

SHARE Emanuel denies videotaping is attempt to intimidate gun buyers

Mayor Rahm Emanuel insisted Wednesday that he’s trying to prevent “straw purchases” — not intimidate licensed gun owners — by requiring the owners of Chicago gun stores to videotape every weapons sale.

“The attempt is to deal with straw purchases and illicit traffic. But, I would like to remind you. [When] you go to an ATM machine and you take cash out, it’s videotaped. It’s about protection,” the mayor said.

“We think it’s enforceable. We think it’s smart. We think it’s tough. . . . We think it meets the standards set out, but does it in a way that’s consistent with the direction the court set forth, but also with the direction that the people of Chicago set forth. They want their streets safe.”

After introducing the court-ordered gun shop ordinance at Wednesday’s City Council meeting, Emanuel was asked where the videotapes of gun purchases would be stored and how he could guarantee that the tapes would be secure and not “misused.”

The mayor never answered the question. He would only say that “way too many guns come into Chicago” and the city “doesn’t have a problem of too few guns.”

The Chicago Sun-Times reported earlier this week that Emanuel had responded to a federal judge’s July 14 deadline to approve store restrictions short of a ban. Emanuel’s plan includes sweeping regulations that he considers the toughest in the nation.

Gun store owners would be required to videotape every sale to deter legal customers from buying firearms for crooks.

They would be required to submit a safety plan outlining exterior lighting, surveillance cameras and alarm systems, as well as storage of guns and ammunition. Their employees would have to undergo fingerprinting, background checks and training on identifying potential gun traffickers.

The stores would have to maintain a log of gun sales in which a firearm was later recovered in a crime. That would help employees identify potential gun traffickers if they tried to buy more guns, according to the city.

Special-use zoning would keep gun stores out of 99.5 percent of Chicago, limiting them to pockets of the North, West and South sides and keeping them at least 500 feet away from all schools and parks.

The mayor’s ordinance would also limit Chicago gun stores to selling one handgun a month to a buyer. If the city revoked a store’s business license for violating the ordinance, it could not reopen at the same location for three years, officials said.

South Side Ald. Howard Brookins (21st) has warned that the mayor’s gun shop ordinance is so far-reaching, it invites another legal challenge and another in a string of defeats on the issue.

Many of the proposed store regulations were included in the recommendations of a new city report on Chicago’s gun-violence problem. The mayor’s office and police department created the report with help from University of Chicago Crime Lab researchers.

The report — obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times — compares murder rates in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York in 2011.

“The three cities have relatively similar rates of non-gun homicides,” the report said. “The difference, however, is Chicago’s large gun market which fuels the murder rate.”

The rate of murders involving guns was 13.4 per 100,000 people in Chicago, 5.9 in Los Angeles and 3.8 in New York.

The Latest
The teenager was shot in the 6300 block of South Nashville Avenue, police said.
The nonviolence center, located in the Center of Englewood community building, will provide holistic approaches to nonviolence and peace through meditation and yoga classes, counseling and basketball programming.
Chemicals commonly known as PFAS are tied to cancer and other health conditions.
The labor dispute hits during a busy time on the West Side arena’s calendar, with a strike potentially affecting 700 employees.
The nonprofit organization that owns the publication has hired Solomon Liberman to succeed Tracy Baim, who said last summer she wanted to step down.