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Press Release: Cook County Board of Commissioners Supports the Passage of Reporting Lost or Stolen Firearms in Illinois

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Colleen Daley, Executive Director of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence joined Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez today before the Legislation and Intergovernmental Relations Committee of the Cook County Board in support of a resolution calling for the statewide reporting of lost or stolen firearms to law enforcement.

“We are all too aware this has been a deadly year in Illinois.  To date, firearms in Chicago alone have killed over 500 people, and if averages hold true there will be over 1000 deaths in Illinois caused by firearms this year. These numbers are devastating and we all must work together to stop the violence,” Daley began her testimony.

The resolution sponsored by Commissioners Suffredin, Daley, Reyes and Gainer calls for the Illinois General Assembly to enact proposed legislation (House Bill 1855 – Acevedo) to require gun owners and dealers to report to law enforcement within 72 hours of discovering the theft or loss of a firearm.  

“The fact is over 30% of all guns used in a crime in Chicago were legally purchased at gun shops in Cook County.  A lost and stolen reporting requirement would take more guns off our streets and improve public safety by helping to deter straw purchasers from buying guns legally and then turning around and illegally selling them on the street,” Daley said.

Additionally, it will assist law enforcement by arming them with the tools to more easily identify and prosecute straw purchasers.
A 2011 survey by American Viewpoint/Momentum Analysis of public attitudes toward gun violence prevention measures found that the vast majority of gun owners (94%) support the passage of such a law. 

Daley praised the Commissioners for their support of the resolution and is optimistic that as more local governments add their voice to the issue the General Assembly will act to protect all Illinois residents from gun violence.

“The Cook County Board has put its unanimous backing behind Representative Acevado’s House Bill 1855 which will require lost and stolen weapons to be reported within 72 hours. This state law will make a difference in protecting the safety of Cook County children and families,” Commissioner Suffredin said in support of the resolution.

The resolution passed with unanimous support from the Cook County Board.  Copies of the resolution will now be delivered to members of the Illinois General Assembly.   Action could take place on the proposal as soon as the upcoming veto session.  

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