Police recover 6,816 illegal guns, call for stricter gun laws - KMSP-TV

Police recover 6,816 illegal guns, call for stricter gun laws

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CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

Chicago Police recovered nearly 7,000 illegal guns last year, police announced Monday.

The 6,816 guns police say they have retrieved are a result of "lax" federal and state laws against the illegal purchase of firearms, a statement from Chicago Police said.

Gunfire caused 86 percent of the city's murders in 2012, compared to 57 percent for New York City, the statement said. A more recent statistic was not provided.

Police are calling for a state law that will lock up illegal gun carriers for a longer period of time.

If there was a minimum three-year sentence for illegal gun possession, 169 people involved as offenders or victims in last year's murders or shootings would instead have been behind bars, police said.

Chicago closed last year with 415 homicides—the fewest since 1965, police said. But police Supt. Garry McCarthy said the lower numbers do not mean city streets are safe.

"We can have the best policing in the world, but with illegal guns reaching our communities and light penalties that quickly return dangerous criminals back to the streets, we continue to fight an uphill battle," Supt. Garry McCarthy said in the statement.

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