Alderman Wants Mandatory Jail Time for Gun Violators

September 3, 2009

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A Chicago alderman introduced an ordinance Thursday that would impose mandatory jail time for people caught with illegal guns. But it's not clear how the law would be enforced.

The ordinance introduced by Ald. Ike Carothers (29) seems simple enough. It would impose mandatory imprisonment for people caught carrying a gun illegally within city limits.

Carothers says a first offense for someone violating the city's ban on carrying concealed weapons would get you at least five days in jail and a $300 fine. Jail time would increase with each subsequent offense, but would not exceed six months.

CAROTHERS: As we continue to talk about getting tough on guns, then we have to have some laws to back up what we say.

But a representative for the Chicago Police Department told the City Council Committee on Police and Fire Thursday that most gun possession crimes would be prosecuted by the county - not the city. That means Carothers' ordinance may not actually put more violators behind bars.

Nonetheless, the committee did approve the measure, and the full City Council could take it up next week.