Chicago’s Emanuel Urges “School Safety Zones” With Higher Gun Penalties


Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel hopes to keep gunslingers away from public schools, buses, and “safe passage” routes by creating a city ordinance with stiff fines for weapon offenses, says the Chicago Sun-Times. The proposed ordinance comes as 49 elementary schools are being closed in a plan to tackle low enrollment. Parents are concerned that their children will have to cross gang boundaries on their way to new schools. The ordinance, which the mayor intends to introduce today, would create new “school safety zones.” Anyone convicted of possessing a gun, ammunition or another “dangerous weapon” in a zone would face a fine of $1,000 to $5,000 for the first offense and a mandatory 30 days in jail. “Efforts to increase the costs – in this case literally – of the decision to carry a gun illegally in public seems like a useful thing to do,” said Roseanna Ander of the University of Chicago Crime Lab. Todd Vandermyde, a lobbyist for the National Rifle Association, blasted the proposal as a “feel-good announcement that will not achieve anything.”

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