Thursday, October 24, 2013

progressing to sensible gun control in Chicago

Three things Chicago could do about guns.

  1. Publish chain of ownership of firearms used in homicides and illegal public shootings where lives are put at risk. 
  2. Fine people who sell firearms but report them stolen. 
  3. Apply an annual registration fee on some firearms.
Publish chain of ownership. When Chicago PD identifies a firearm used in a homicide or illegal public shooting, the full chain of ownership should be researched and published online.

There are going to be patterns about how these firearms flowed from the manufacturer to the illegal end users. Knowing these patterns will allow public policy to be set so that it is harder for firearms to flow to illegal end users.

Fine people who sell firearms but report them stolen. Maybe the practice of selling firearms to shady buyers and reporting the firearm stolen is something that almost never happens. If so, it won't inconvenience anyone to fine these people because no one is doing it.

However, if "sell report stolen" is a common practice, it's not hard to picture this being a major conduit for firearms to flow from legal owners to owners who use the firearms in crimes.

This policy should be stretched as far as it can be. If the firearm is used in a crime or possessed by someone not authorized to possess a firearm in Chicago, the fine will be assessed against the person who sold the firearm and reported it stolen whether s/he lives in Chicago or not.

Reporting a firearm stolen when it wasn't really stolen is already a crime, filing a false police report and potentially insurance fraud. Fining people for doing something already illegal seems reasonable.

Registration fee on some firearms. More firearms in circulation correlates to more homicides, more homicides by firearms.

There is a public interest in reducing the total number of firearms in circulation.

Chicago should impose an annual registration fee on firearms. The first three firearms could be free. But for extra firearms beyond three, there would be an annual registration fee.

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