Even with record murder rate, Chicago prosecutes the fewest gun crimes in America

Wednesday, April 03, 2013 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: Chicago, gun crimes, gun control

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(NaturalNews) The embattled city of Chicago is experiencing record firearms deaths, with more victims being shot and killed nightly. So far this year, in fact, month-to-month gun deaths are up from the record highs experienced in 2012, when 506 people were killed in the city. And the 2012 death rate was 16 percent higher than in 2011, according to the Public Broadcasting System.

With so much gun crime in Chicago, gun crime prosecutions would naturally be up as well, right?


Gun crimes up, gun prosecutions not so much

In fact, court districts within Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City ranked dead last in the nation in federal gun law enforcement in 2012, says a new report from Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, which keeps track of federal data.

Some examples of federal gun crimes include possessing a firearm in a school zone; illegal sale of a firearm to a juvenile; a felon or drug addict in possession of a firearm; and illegal transport of a gun across state lines.

"In Chicago," reported US News, citing the Syracuse University document, "the majority of gun charges last year were for firearms violations" - rather than arresting and prosecuting people who use a gun to kill.

Per US News:

The districts of Eastern New York, Central California, and Northern Illinois ranked 88th, 89th and 90th, respectively, out of 90 districts, in prosecutions of federal weapons crimes per capita last year, but it wasn't always this way. All three districts fell lower on the list than they had been in years past. In 2010, for example, Chicago was 78th in federal weapons prosecutions.

Even at 78th, Chicago's record of prosecuting federal weapons violators is poor. The question is, why? How in a city with rampant firearm-related homicide are prosecutions for those crimes so low? Chicagoans ought to be holding their elected officials accountable and asking these questions, especially considering that the city - along with L.A. and NYC - are home to some of the nation's most restrictive gun laws, in addition to having mayors who are screaming the loudest for more gun control. Indeed, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa are all members of the national Mayors Against Illegal Guns campaign.

The nation's capital did a better job at prosecuting gun crimes. Also a bastion of strict gun control, Washington, D.C., was 78th in 2012; the city was 49th, however, in 2011.

National Rifle Association head Wayne LaPierre used the results of the Syracuse University report during an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press" program March 26, demanding to know why the national press corps wasn't badgering the White House, U.S. attorneys or the Justice Department to have someone explain the lax enforcement of gun laws in high gun-crime cities.

Gun control activists-turned gun control apologists like Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America founder Shannon Watts would have none of it, however.

"It's like, 'don't look at us, look at gun enforcement,'" she said of LaPierre's comments. "But the NRA works to block gun prosecutions all the time."

In reality, the NRA does not support the use of firearms in the commission of crimes and never has, so Watts' statement is worse than bogus, it is unnecessarily inflammatory. In addition, it does not address the fact that these gun control enclaves have lousy gun-crime prosecution rates. That's not the NRA's fault.

Less prosecution means more gun crimes - and more gun control

US News attempted to do some due diligence on the story, but few officials bothered to answer; no one from the U.S. Attorney's offices in New York and California returned phone calls.

The U.S. Attorney's office in the Northern District of Illinois did - but only to spin their terrible record.

"We have a number of different methods of attacking gangs, guns, drugs and violent crime," spokesman Randall Sanborn said, adding his office puts gun crime prosecution among the top priorities.

"We look at which court the defendant is likely to get a substantially greater sentence... More cases that used to be brought federally are now staying in state courts because [they are] now able to get a sentence equally great or greater," he says, noting that many gun arrests are reviewed to determine whether it should stay with the county or be brought to the federal level.

Here's another theory. Less prosecution means more gun crimes, and more gun crimes gives gun banners more ammunition, if you will, to press for additional gun laws.

Sound ridiculous? Some members of Congress believe the Obama Justice Department's "Operation Fast and Furious" had, as one of its goals, a gun control agenda. (

"Here's the real answer as to gun control," Issa said on ABC's "This Week": "We have email from people involved in this that are talking about using what they're finding here to support the - basically assault weapons - ban or greater reporting."


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