Blair's Bill Introduced to Stop Violence

September 20, 2007

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As part of our coverage this summer of young people killed by street violence, we followed the story of Blair Holt. He was the Julian High School student killed last spring while on his way home. Now, U.S. Representative Bobby Rush, of Chicago, is introducing a gun control bill in Blair's name. It's a national gun tracking system that Rush says will help trace firearms. Chicago Public Radio's Natalie Moore has the story.
 
At the bustling corner of 103rd and Halsted, there's a Harold's Fried Chicken Shack and a gas station. It's also the place where Julian High School student Blair Holt was shot in gang crossfire while riding the CTA. He died shielding a classmate. Now, Rush is pushing for something called a "gun identification number." At a recent news conference at Julian, he said it's a practical - and doable - solution.
 
RUSH: Blair's Bill is simple in its concept. If we can have Vehicle Identification Numbers for every automobile in this nation, then why can't we have a handgun number, a gun number for every handgun that's manufactured in this nation?

That required number would be registered and traceable by every law enforcement agency in the country. It would let officials know who bought the gun. But gun control expert and Albany Law School professor Timothy Lytton  says the bill's chances are slim against gun lobbyists.

LYTTON: It's been a long history of battles over gun control legislation. And it's been relatively difficult in the pass 35 years to pass control on guns.

Blair's Bill has been referred to the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.

I'm Natalie Moore…Chicago Public Radio.



U.S. Representative Bobby Rush of Chicago has introduced a gun control bill. It's named after a high school student killed last spring while on his way home from school. In June, Rush proposed a national gun tracking system that he says will help trace firearms. Chicago Public Radio's Natalie Moore has the story.

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At the bustling corner of 103rd and Halsted, there's a Harold's Fried Chicken Shack and a gas station.

It's also the place where Julian High School student Blair Holt was shot in gang crossfire while riding the CTA. He died shielding a classmate.

Now, Rush is pushing for something called a “gun identification number.”
 
At a recent news conference at Julian, he said it's a practical—and doable—solution.

RUSH: Blair's Bill is simple in its concept. If we can have Vehicle Identification Numbers for every automobile in this nation, then why can't we have a handgun number, a gun number for every handgun that's manufactured in this nation?

That required number would be registered and traceable by every law enforcement agency in the country. It would let officials know who bought the gun.

But gun control expert and Albany Law School professor Timothy Lytton  says the bill's chances are slim against gun lobbyists.

LYTTON: It's been a long history of battles over gun control legislation. And it's been relatively difficult in the pass 35 years to pass control on guns.

Blair's Bill has been referred to the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.

I'm Natalie Moore, Chicago Public Radio.

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This evening at 7 ...join us for a community conversation about youth violence in Chicago. It's a live production of our newsmagazine, Eight Forty-Eight. To participate and share your thoughts, call 312-832-3124 during tonight's broadcast or e-mail your thoughts now