Police seizures of assault weapons in Chicago are up from 264 in 2008 to 313 in 2009, Police Superintendent Jody Weis tells USA Today. Overall, 7,785 weapons were recovered this year, up from 6,963 in 2008. Weis says there is evidence that more weapons are being used per shooting and more shots are being fired. In Milwaukee, semiautomatic 9mm and .40-caliber handguns were used in the non-fatal shootings of six city police officers over the 21 months ending Sept. 30. “The quality of weapons (used by criminals) has changed dramatically in the past decade,” Police Chief Edward Flynn says.
The chiefs were commenting on a report issued by the Police Executive Research Forum concluding that more criminals are using assault weapons. National Rifle Association spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said that, “The real issue is the high-caliber criminal, not the high-caliber firearms.” He said repeat offenders are overwhelming the justice system and could increase as states send fewer to prison to cut costs.