Skip to main content


30% of Illegal guns recovered in Chicago bought in Cook County

Conventional wisdom suggests that many of the illegal guns picked up in Chicago made a long trip from southern states where the gun laws tend to be less restrictive, but a review of 17,000 illegal guns recovered by the Chicago Police department finds that many of those guns were purchased locally.

The study by the Chicago Police Department and the University of Chicago Crime Lab found that 42 percent  of the guns were from Illinois and 30 percent were from Cook County, though it’s also true that thousands of guns from Mississippi, Arkansas and Georgia have turned up in the city as well.

While there aren't any gun shops in Chicago, residents wanting to purchase a gun can simply cross the city line into surrounding suburbs like Riverdale, the home to Chuck's Gun Shop. The CPD study found that more than 1,300 illegal guns recovered over a four-year period in Chicago were originally purchased at Chuck's Gun Shop. An employee who answered the phone there said they didn't want to comment on the numbers.

Get the WBEZ App

Download the best live and on-demand public radio experience. Find out more.