WBEZ | assault weapons ban http://www.wbez.org/tags/assault-weapons-ban Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Justices Reject Challenge to Local Assault Weapons Ban http://www.wbez.org/news/justices-reject-challenge-local-assault-weapons-ban-114074 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP_180037893168.jpg" style="height: 205px; width: 310px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: right;" title=" In this Jan. 16, 2013 file photo, assault weapons and handguns are seen for sale at Capitol City Arms Supply in Springfield, Ill. In a questionnaire for The Associated Press, the four GOP candidates for governor, state Sens. Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard, state Treasurer Dan Rutherford and businessman Bruce Rauner disagree on whether assault-style weapons should be banned. They also disagree on whether to support a measure creating minimum prison sentences for gun crimes. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File)" /></p><p>WASHINGTON (AP) &mdash; Acting in the aftermath of the San Bernardino mass shooting, the Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal from gun owners who challenged aChicago&nbsp;suburb&#39;s ban on assault weapons.</p><p>Two conservative justices said they would have heard the case and struck down the ban. The Illinois State Rifle Association, one of the plaintiffs, indicated that it would keep challenging local gun restrictions.</p><p>The court, though, left in place a lower court ruling that found that local governments have leeway in deciding how to regulate firearms. The federal appeals court inChicago&nbsp;had upheld the city of Highland Park&#39;s 2013 law that bans semi-automatic weapons and large-capacity magazines.</p><p>In October, the federal appeals court in New York largely upheld similar laws in Connecticut and New York, among a handful of states that ban semi-automatic weapons.</p><p>The Supreme Court has repeatedly turned away challenges to gun restrictions since two landmark decisions that spelled out the right to a handgun to defend one&#39;s own home.</p><p>Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Justice Antonin Scalia, said the&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;appeals court ruling &quot;flouts two of our Second Amendment precedents.&quot; Without mentioning any mass shootings in California and elsewhere that involved semi-automatic guns, Thomas said the weapons ban &quot;is highly suspect because it broadly prohibits common semi-automatic firearms used for lawful purposes&quot; by roughly 5 million Americans.</p><p>&quot;The overwhelming majority of citizens who own and use such rifles do so for lawful purposes, including self-defense and target shooting,&quot; Thomas wrote.</p><p>The case had been under consideration at the high court for two months, but the delay in dealing with it now appears mainly due to waiting for Thomas to finish his opinion.</p><p>The appeal filed by Dr. Arie Friedman and the Illinois State Rifle Association argues that Highland Park has violated their constitutional rights by banning some of the most popular semi-automatic guns in the United States, as well as ammunition magazines of more than 10 rounds.</p><p>Richard Pearson, the director of the Illinois State Rifle Association, was disappointed the Supreme Court did not hear the case but said his organization is still waiting for the conclusion of a state-court case challenging a similar ban in Illinois&#39; largest county, Cook County. He said the group will also keep looking for new plaintiffs in areas that have enacted assault-weapons prohibitions.</p><p>&quot;We are not going to give up and we&#39;re not going to go away,&quot; Pearson said.</p><p>Steven Elrod, an attorney who has represented Highland Park, did not immediately return a call from The Associated Press.</p><p>Even though lower courts have mainly upheld gun restrictions, the Highland Park case arises out of a decision by the federal appeals court in&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;that struck down the only statewide ban on carrying concealed weapons, in Illinois.</p><p>In 2013, when state lawmakers reacted to the court ruling by making it legal to carry a gun, they gave cities around the state 10 days to come up with local restrictions on assault weapons, or forfeit their right to do so.</p><p>Highland Park was one of fewer than 20 municipalities, all in the&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;area, to enact regulations or bans, according to the rifle association.</p><p>The city&#39;s assault weapons ban was upheld by the appeals court in a 2-1 decision.</p><p>Judge Frank Easterbrook wrote for the court that there is a &quot;substantial benefit&quot; to the Highland Park ordinance if it makes the public feel less at risk from a mass shooting. Variations of the Bushmaster AR-15, one of the guns specifically banned by Highland Park, were used in the Newtown, Connecticut school massacre and the theater shootings in Aurora, Colorado.</p><p>The gun control laws that the appeals court in New York upheld in October were passed after the 2012 massacre in Newtown.</p><p>Seven states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws banning assault weapons. The others are California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts and New Jersey, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. In addition, Minnesota and Virginia regulate assault weapons, the center said.</p><p>The case is<a href="http://www.supremecourt.gov/orders/courtorders/120715zor_6j37.pdf" target="_blank"> Friedman v. Highland, 15-133</a>.</p><p><em>Associated Press reporter David Mercer in Champaign, Illinois, contributed to this report.</em></p></p> Mon, 07 Dec 2015 13:02:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/justices-reject-challenge-local-assault-weapons-ban-114074 Mass shootings by the numbers http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-10-02/mass-shootings-numbers-113161 <p><div id="attachment_93579"><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/vigilOR2.jpg" style="height: 403px; width: 600px;" title="People hold candles during a vigil in Roseburg, Oregon on October 1, 2015, for nine people killed and seven others wounded in a shooting at a community college in Oregon. (Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)" /></div><p>Responses to the<a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/never-utter-his-name-official-says-gunman-oregon-shooting-113149" target="_blank"> mass shooting&nbsp;in Oregon yesterday</a>, in which at least nine people&nbsp;were killed, include words like &ldquo;tragic,&rdquo; &ldquo;devastating&rdquo; and, as President Obama&nbsp;<a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2015/10/01/watch-president-obamas-statement-shooting-oregon" target="_blank">said</a>, &ldquo;routine.&rdquo;&nbsp;Mass shootings are so common that there are many that never get national headlines.</p></div><p>The&nbsp;<a href="http://shootingtracker.com/" target="_blank">Mass Shooting Tracker</a>&nbsp;online database shows that yesterday marked the 294th mass shooting. Yesterday was the&nbsp;274th day of the year. The tracker defines a mass shooting as a shooting in which four or more people were killed or wounded.</p><p>Mark Follman&nbsp;of Mother Jones magazine joins&nbsp;<em>Here &amp; Now&#39;s</em>&nbsp;Robin Young to&nbsp;provide <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/07/mass-shootings-map" target="_blank">some statistics </a>and context to mass shootings in the U.S.</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2015/10/02/mass-shootings-numbers" target="_blank"><em>via Here &amp; Now</em></a></p></p> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 13:27:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-10-02/mass-shootings-numbers-113161 The data behind Chicago's gun crimes http://www.wbez.org/news/data-behind-chicagos-gun-crimes-108092 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/chicagounderthegun.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago&#39;s City Council&nbsp;unanimously approved two measures to <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-updates-assault-weapons-ban-108086"><em>toughen </em></a>Chicago&#39;s gun laws on Wednesday, in an effort to tamp down gun-related violence.</p><div><table align="left" border="1" cellpadding="5" cellspacing="5" style="width: 620px; margin-right: 15px; margin-top: 15px; margin-bottom: 15px;"><tbody><tr><td colspan="2" style="background-color: rgb(204, 204, 204);"><strong><a name="chart"></a>Chicago&#39;s shooting problem</strong></td></tr><tr><td style="background-color: rgb(204, 204, 204);"><a href="http://llnw.wbez.org/ShootingsHeatMap.gif" target="_blank"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/ShootingsHeatMap.gif" style="width: 350px; height: 638px;" /></a></td><td rowspan="2" style="vertical-align: top; width: 255px; background-color: rgb(204, 204, 204);"><p>About this map:</p><ul><li><span style="font-size:10px;">Chicago&#39;s overall shootings, sans homicides, have dropped from <strong>4,176</strong> in 2002 to <strong>1,887</strong> last year. That&#39;s more than a <strong>54%</strong> drop.</span></li><li><span style="font-size:10px;">The areas that were the former location Chicago housing projects such as <strong>Cabrini Green</strong> and the <strong>Robert Taylor Homes</strong> have seen dramatic drops in shootings, however shooting activity has spread to adjacent areas.</span></li><li><span style="font-size:10px;">Shooting activity was more widespread on the North Side, but now is only really prevalent in Uptown and Rogers Park.</span></li><li><span style="font-size:10px;">The Near South Side, which includes the South Loop neighborhood has experienced a drop in shootings from a 2003 high of <strong>15</strong>, and now has about <strong>1</strong> annually.</span></li><li><span style="font-size:10px;">Areas with a lot of economic and real estate development such as West Town and Logan Square saw some of the greatest decreases in shootings.&nbsp;</span></li><li><span style="font-size:10px;">Logan Square dropped from <strong>91</strong> shootings to <strong>13</strong>, or <strong>85%</strong> from 2002 to 2012. West Town dropped <strong>75% </strong>from <strong>108 </strong>to <strong>27 </strong>shootings that same period.</span></li><li><span style="font-size:10px;">Areas such as Kenwood and Hyde Park are largely insulated from some of the South Side violence to its western boundaries, but crimes do occur there. The<a href="http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2013/01/30/mayor-emanuel-gets-emotional-after-shooting-claims-life-of-teen/"> murder of Hadiya Pendleton </a>this year in Kenwood gained national attention.</span></li></ul></td></tr><tr><td style="background-color: rgb(204, 204, 204);"><strong><a href="http://llnw.wbez.org/ShootingsHeatMap.gif" target="_blank"><span style="color:#ff0000;">Click to download this animated map &raquo;</span></a></strong></td></tr><tr><td colspan="2" style="background-color: rgb(204, 204, 204);"><p><em>Source: <strong><a href="https://data.cityofchicago.org/Public-Safety/Shootings-between-2002-2012/w435-t7xh">data.cityofchicago.org</a></strong></em><br /><em>Crime data reflects only aggravated batteries (shootings) with a gun or firearm from 2002-2012. Homicide data as divided by guns vs. stabbings, etc., is not readily available before 2006, and was not included in this map.</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p></td></tr><tr><td colspan="2" style="background-color: rgb(204, 204, 204);"><script type="text/javascript" src="//ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/static/modules/gviz/1.0/chart.js"> {"dataSourceUrl":"//docs.google.com/a/chicagopublicradio.org/spreadsheet/tq?key=0AoxVpL8Zenp3dGVseEZVQlJHWWlHcDhHS2hSVXlIX1E&transpose=1&headers=1&range=A2%3AG4&gid=0&pub=1","options":{"vAxes":[{"useFormatFromData":true,"title":null,"minValue":null,"logScale":false,"viewWindow":{"min":null,"max":null},"maxValue":null},{"useFormatFromData":true,"minValue":null,"logScale":false,"viewWindow":{"min":null,"max":null},"maxValue":null}],"titleTextStyle":{"bold":true,"color":"#000","fontSize":16},"booleanRole":"certainty","title":"Handguns vs. other firearms in 2012","animation":{"duration":0},"backgroundColor":{"fill":"#d9d9d9"},"domainAxis":{"direction":1},"legend":"in","theme":"maximized","hAxis":{"useFormatFromData":true,"minValue":null,"viewWindowMode":null,"viewWindow":null,"maxValue":null},"isStacked":true,"width":620,"height":291},"state":{},"view":{},"isDefaultVisualization":true,"chartType":"ColumnChart","chartName":"Chart 1"} </script></td></tr><tr><td colspan="2" style="background-color: rgb(204, 204, 204);"><script type="text/javascript" src="//ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/static/modules/gviz/1.0/chart.js"> {"dataSourceUrl":"//docs.google.com/a/chicagopublicradio.org/spreadsheet/tq?key=0AoxVpL8Zenp3dGVseEZVQlJHWWlHcDhHS2hSVXlIX1E&transpose=1&headers=1&range=A2%3AG5&gid=0&pub=1","options":{"vAxes":[{"useFormatFromData":true,"minValue":null,"viewWindow":{"min":null,"max":null},"maxValue":null},{"useFormatFromData":true,"minValue":null,"viewWindow":{"min":null,"max":null},"maxValue":null}],"titleTextStyle":{"bold":true,"color":"#000","fontSize":16},"booleanRole":"certainty","title":"Chart title","animation":{"duration":500},"legend":"right","hAxis":{"useFormatFromData":true,"minValue":null,"viewWindow":{"min":null,"max":null},"maxValue":null},"width":605,"height":226},"state":{},"view":{},"isDefaultVisualization":true,"chartType":"Table","chartName":"Chart 2"} </script><br /><em>Firearm/gun data for homicides was not readily available, but media accounts would indicate that they are mostly caused by handguns.</em></td></tr></tbody></table></div><p>Whether or not the new restrictions will make a difference in Chicago&#39;s gun crime is yet to be seen.</p><p>One of the new laws clarifies which types of assault weapons qualify as banned, under &nbsp;the city&#39;s restriction of high-capacity magazines. &nbsp;Meanwhile, the vast majority of Chicago&#39;s gun-related crimes are committed using handguns.&nbsp;</p><p>The other new measure creates school safety or &quot;Safe Passage&quot;&nbsp;zones, defined as the area within 1,000 ft of a school.</p><p>&quot;We all have a role to play in building safe communities, and that includes keeping weapons designed for the battlefield off our streets and punishing those who carry or use weapons around school children with stiff penalties,&quot;&nbsp;Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement.</p><p>The city&#39;s move follows the state&#39;s vote to&nbsp;legalize carrying concealed weapons&nbsp;last week.&nbsp;A federal appeals court found Illinois&#39; previous concealed carry ban unconstitutional. The state was the last in the U.S. to impose such a prohibition.&nbsp;</p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-police-confirm-500-murders-2012-104615">Depending on who you ask</a>, the city&#39;s homicide numbers can vary, but according to the RedEye, there were&nbsp;<strong>516&nbsp;</strong>homicides last year,&nbsp;<strong>441</strong>&nbsp;of them inflicted by guns. And while gun crimes and homicides have become almost synonymous in Chicago, the&nbsp;number of <a href="http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/2013-chicago-murders/timeline?mon=7">deaths</a> often masks the city&#39;s overall problem.&nbsp;</p><p>According to police data,&nbsp;the number of shootings&nbsp;<a href="https://data.cityofchicago.org/Public-Safety/2012-shootings/24f8-4jii">totaled&nbsp;<strong>1,887</strong>&nbsp;last year</a>.&nbsp;</p><p>The data also show assaults with guns &ndash; when a person is threatened with a weapon but not shot &ndash;&nbsp;<a href="https://data.cityofchicago.org/Public-Safety/Assaults-with-guns-in-2012/sq6s-sdyy">totaled&nbsp;<strong>2,077</strong></a>&nbsp;last year.&nbsp;<a href="https://data.cityofchicago.org/Public-Safety/Chicago-Robberies-for-2012/nbaj-2wmy">Armed robberies</a> alone topped&nbsp;<strong>5,389</strong>. There were&nbsp;<a href="https://data.cityofchicago.org/Public-Safety/Sexual-Assaults-for-2012/4ji5-jzpn"><strong>1,334&nbsp;</strong>sexual assaults</a>, <strong>101&nbsp;</strong>of which were committed at gunpoint.</p><p>Where does unlawful possession or use of a gun fall under? Well, the city keeps tabs on weapons violations &ndash; arrests for using guns or other firearms unlawfully and/or&nbsp;possessing a banned weapon. That total rounded to&nbsp;<strong><a href="https://data.cityofchicago.org/Public-Safety/2012-Weapons-violations/jzkm-qabk">2,929</a>&nbsp;</strong>reported incidents.</p><p>As the City Council grapples with how to address assault weapons in a post-Newtown political setting, the legislation still doesn&#39;t seem to address Chicago&#39;s overall gun violence problem, or the issues that contribute&nbsp;to it &ndash; education, high unemployment and stagnant economic mobility.</p><p>The Chicago Police Department has repeatedly made the case that overall crime has been declining historically, which is true, but some of that decline can be attributed to the overall drop in the city&#39;s population the past two decades. Regardless, shootings in Chicago dropped from a 2001 high of<strong> 4,176</strong> aggravated batteries with a gun/firearm to<strong> 1,887</strong> last year.</p><p>Chicago&#39;s crime data does distinguish handguns from other firearms, but it doesn&#39;t specify whether the &quot;other firearm&quot; involved was an M16 assault rifle or, say, a hunting rifle.</p><p>Of the city&#39;s 5,389 armed robberies, only 98 of them were with a firearm not classified as a handgun. All of the city&#39;s sexual assaults at gun point were done with a handgun.</p><p>While automatic and assault rifles have been the focus of federal legislative efforts, Chicago largely has a handgun problem. And that handgun problem goes well&nbsp;<a href="http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/2013-chicago-murders/timeline?mon=7">beyond the homicide numbers</a>. &nbsp;</p><p>Last year&#39;s homicides totaled 516, with <strong>441 </strong>of those resulting in a death by gunshot. There were still <strong>11,886</strong> gun related crimes in Chicago that didn&#39;t end in a homicide.</p><p><em style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">&mdash;Elliott Ramos is a data reporter and Web producer for WBEZ. Follow him on Twitter&nbsp;<a href="http://www.twitter.com/ChicagoEl" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 104, 150); outline: 0px;">@ChicagoEl</a>&nbsp;email:<a href="mailto:eramos@wbez.org" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 104, 150); outline: 0px;">eramos@wbez.org</a>.</em></p><p><strong><a name="map"></a>Gun Crimes in Chicago</strong><br /><em>The map below shows crimes in Chicago that involved guns. The homicide data was created and cleaned up by <a href="http://homicides.redeyechicago.com/">Tracy Swartz of the Chicago RedEye</a>. Obtaining homicide data often involves combining Chicago Police and Cook County Medical Examiner data to obtain location and cause of death. Such a data set is not released by the CPD or city via the public data portal and must be obtained&nbsp;</em>separately&nbsp;<em>and cleaned up manually. Sortable map template available via <a href="http://derekeder.com/searchable_map_template/">Derek Eder of Open City</a>.</em></p><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="1350" scrolling="no" src="http://interactive.wbez.org/maps/gun-crimes/" width="960"></iframe></p></p> Wed, 17 Jul 2013 12:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/data-behind-chicagos-gun-crimes-108092 Chicago mayor plans gun control ordinance http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-mayor-plans-gun-control-ordinance-104833 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/RS3107_Rahm_Olsen_108123053-scr.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he&#39;s working on a gun control ordinance for the city of Chicago after an assault weapons ban stalled in the Illinois General Assembly.</p><p>The Chicago Sun-Times <a href="http://bit.ly/UDdY61" target="_blank">reports</a> that Emanuel said Thursday that waiting is not his &quot;strong suit.&quot; The mayor says he hopes Chicago&#39;s efforts will push Springfield lawmakers to ban assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips. Emanuel wouldn&#39;t offer specifics but said details would be available in &quot;coming days.&quot;</p><p>Emanuel says he&#39;s frustrated that the General Assembly failure to deal with assault weapons during the lame-duck session that ended Tuesday. The mayor says the new state Legislature that was sworn in on Wednesday must begin work &quot;immediately&quot; on the issue.</p></p> Thu, 10 Jan 2013 14:17:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-mayor-plans-gun-control-ordinance-104833