Illinois Lawmakers Go After Guns and Bullets to Quiet the Bloody Streets of Chicago
"I walk through the valley of the Chi where death is,” Kanye West rapped in “Jesus Walks,” and it hasn’t gotten any better since he laid down that track in 2004.
That year, 455 people were shot to death in Chicago.
More than 400 people have already been shot to death in Chicago in 2016, and another 2,300 have been wounded by gunfire.
"Each weekend in Chicago is bloodier than the last," House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R) said.
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) has signed legislation designed to – if not close down what’s known as the Iron Pipeline – at least slow down the traffic of guns brought into Chicago from more gun-friendly states.
The Iron Pipeline is the name given to the I-95 corridor that outlaws use to bring guns from southern states that don’t have strict gun laws into New York City, where it is harder to buy a gun.
The Pipeline is also used to describe I-90, one of the routes to bring weapons from gun-friendly Indiana into Illinois and eventually Chicago.
The bill signed by Rauner increases penalties for firearms trafficking and is intended to reduce the growing gun violence epidemic in Chicago.
"We must stand up and help our kids and our communities find safety from violence," said Rauner. "Children are often in the crossfire. They’re vulnerable and impressionable. They deserve to see better things in the world. They deserve to feel safe in their homes. They should not live in fear or have their innocence shattered.”
Rep. Durkin said many of the shootings involved illegally acquired guns by Chicago street gangs. He also said it is estimated that approximately 60 percent of guns used to commit violent crimes in Chicago were purchased outside of Illinois.
Illinois gun laws have been more focused on holding the shooter accountable, but not the person who armed the shooter. Durkin and Rauner said that would change with House Bill 6303.