Chicago Gun Offender Registry Failure

June 17th, 2011

I’ve blogged about proposed gun offender registries in Connecticut and Baltimore. The Truth About Guns has more about Chicago’s registry, and links to this piece in the Chicago Reader.

The new law was supposed to help on that front as well. It requires that anyone convicted of a city, state, or federal gun law offense report it to the police department along with contact information, a photograph, and a copy of their driver’s license. Offenders who don’t comply can be jailed up to six months. In turn, the police department is directed to “create and maintain” a registry of the offenders.

But so far none of this has been done, according to 14th Ward alderman Ed Burke, a former cop who advocated for the provision last year. “We envisioned that, just like sex offenders have to register, that gun offenders should have to register, and we’d create a different violation if they didn’t,” Burke told newly installed police superintendent Garry McCarthy during a City Council hearing last week. “It probably wouldn’t surprise you that, like so many bureaucracies, this has yet to be implemented.”

McCarthy vowed to make it happen. “I’m a big believer in it,” he said.

My comments from a previous post:

And what happens if a person with a gun offense fails to register? Back to jail?

What about the stigma? Comparing people who commit gun crimes to sex offenders? And I don’t think this is limited to violent crimes. Merely owning a gun without a permit is a crime. Bam. Registry.

As it stands, people with gun offenses cannot own a firearm for life. What more does Connecticut want? With sex offender registries, the purpose is deterrence because they are likely to reoffend. Does the same consideration exist here?