Lawmakers: Federal involvement needed to curb illegal gun trafficking

August 19, 2013

Aimee Chen

(AP/File)
Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy talks about the department's efforts to curb gun violence. As a new law that requires gun owners to report any lost or stolen firearms takes effect this weekend, State Senator Kwame Raoul says the new law is no more than a “speed bump” without federal involvement in stopping gun violence.

Lawmakers said Illinois’s new gun law needs federal involvement to truly stop or even curb illegal gun trafficking.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn this weekend signed a new law that requires gun owners to report within 72 hours any lost or stolen gun .

The law also requires background checks for all gun purchases, including private sales.

But State Senator Kwame Raoul said there’s more to be done.

“We can continue to do (more) at the state level, but the reality is a lot of the gun trafficking occurs across the state lines,” Raoul said. “Enacting law is only one measure that we can do to combat gun violence, but we also need the help from the federal level.”

Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said the new requirement gives police more control in keeping track of illegal firearms.

“This lost or stolen requirement will help police identify suspicious patterns of behavior by persons who fail to file reports yet continually claim their guns were lost or stolen after they are recovered at a crime scene,” she said in a press release.

Illinois is the 9th state to require the reporting of lost or stolen guns. Michigan and Ohio are the only two nearby states with the same requirement.

The reporting requirement takes effect immediately, and the new background check system will start in the beginning of next year.

Aimee Chen is a WBEZ business reporting intern. Follow her @AimeeYuyiChen.