Parents would be held responsible — and ordered to perform community service — for their gun-wielding kids under a crackdown proposed Wednesday to stop the bloodshed on Chicago streets.
Finance Committee Chairman Ald. Edward Burke (14th) joined forces with rookie Ald. Ray Lopez (15th) on an ordinance patterned after similar laws in Elgin, Portland, Denver and in the state of Connecticut.
It would empower inundated Chicago Police officers to issue citations to parents and guardians for “failing to stop the illegal possession of a firearm.”
The charge would stick if it could be proven that a parent or guardian “knows that the minor possesses a firearm” in violation of city, county state and federal laws and “fails to make reasonable efforts to stop the possession or report the possession” to police, the ordinance states.
Burke said he introduced the ordinance at Wednesday’s City Council meeting after several recent incidents in which teenagers shot at Chicago Police officers.
“We need to step forward and put in place a system that holds parents accountable while providing them with support services,” Burke was quoted as saying in a press release.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed retired Budget Director Alex Holt to the Metra Board, replacing Marty Oberman, and former education deputy Beth Swanson to the City Colleges board.
The mayor also proposed a major rewrite of the city’s electrical code to promote energy efficiency, improve safety and cut costs for residents and businesses. The changes, which bring Chicago closer to national standards, include updated requirements for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in new buildings.
Wednesday’s meeting was the last before the traditional August recess — and it showed.
Aldermen approved new safety rules for trucks; a new $200 license for food trucks in the taxicab staging area and cellphone lots at O’Hare Airport; and a $500,000 settlement to compensate a woman who suffered a miscarriage after Chicago Police used a Taser on her three times. One of the officers has an alleged history of violence.