Mayor Rahm Emanuel, shown speaking at the Field Museum, is bracing for a mass protest by police officers at next week’s City Council meeting. | Fran Spielman/Sun-Times

Emanuel vows to fix gun problem uncovered by inspector general

SHARE Emanuel vows to fix gun problem uncovered by inspector general
SHARE Emanuel vows to fix gun problem uncovered by inspector general

Mayor Rahm Emanuel vowed Thursday to quickly fix an embarrassing bureaucratic oversight by the Chicago Police Department that has allowed people who pose a “clear and present danger” to themselves or the public to hold onto their firearms.

“The Chicago Police take more guns off the street than either New York or L.A. combined. And they deserve credit for that,” the mayor said.

“This report identifies a weakness. And the superintendent, to his credit, stepped up, acknowledged it’s a weakness in the system and that they’re gonna fix it. Now that they … put a new policy in, they have to … adhere to it, which I know Eddie [Johnson] will do.”

FOID FUMBLE: CPD didn’t tell state police about dangerous gun owners, report says

Earlier this week, Inspector General Joe Ferguson accused the department of failing to comply with the “clear and present danger reporting requirements” of the state law governing the Firearms Owners Identification Card.

The law requires local police officers to notify the Illinois State Police within 24 hours whenever they encounter an individual who poses a “clear and present danger” — either to themselves or to the general public.

But that is not what’s happening, according to an explosive new report released Wednesday that was the first by the public safety section of the inspector general’s office.

“In a time of continuing high incidence of gun violence in Chicago…full compliance with the…reporting requirement provides CPD a key mechanism by which to prevent unnecessary gun violence and keep firearms away from those who are not legally entitled to their possession,” Ferguson wrote.

The report was a major embarrassment for a Chicago Police Department struggling to control violent crime that keeps a running total of guns taken off the street. Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson has joined Emanuel in lobbing hard for stricter gun laws.

Their efforts suffered a major setback this week when an attempt to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of a bill that would have licensed Illinois gun dealers was not even called for a vote.

Sponsors said they plan to try again to re-introduce and pass the bill before the spring session adjourns.

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