Chicago Mayor Richard Daley has again asked the Illinois General Assembly to pass “common-sense” gun control bills designed to save lives and help police without hurting hunters and other legitimate firearms enthusiasts, the Chicago Tribune reports. The National Rifle Association countered that the legislative package is an attempt to chip away at the constitutional rights of gun owners. Daley backs measures that would ban semiautomatic assault-style weapons and .50-caliber rifles; require state licensing of gun dealers; limit handgun purchases to one a month per person; and expand provisions of a trigger-lock bill approved last session.
Daley cited a newly enacted law that requires criminal background checks of people who buy weapons at gun shows. Police Superintendent Philip Cline said that aggravated batteries committed with guns were down by 6 percent last year, and for the first time in five decades, the number of homicides in Chicago was fewer than 500 for two consecutive years. Nevertheless, 447 people were killed in the city last year, most of them with guns.