Two mothers whose sons were killed in gun violence on Chicago’s South Side have hit upon a novel approach to try to stem the violence plaguing the neighborhood, reports the city’s Tribune. In an unusual lawsuit filed July 7, Pam Bosley and Annette Nance-Holt claim their civil rights have been violated by three suburban governments that they say do not adequately regulate gun shops near the Chicago border. The suit argues that weapons sold at these stores are responsible for too much of the violence that disproportionately afflicts poor, black Chicagoans.
Critics, who say the two mothers are stretching the definition of civil rights too far, are urging the court to dismiss the case. Yet the suit is timely, with Chicago’s homicide rate on the rise this year. The mothers blame the three villages, Lyons, Lincolnwood and Riverdale, for what they call a “flood” of guns into the city. On average, police have recovered a gun sold at Chuck’s Gun Shop in Riverdale every day for the past 10 years. Gun shops in the three villages — together with another store in Indiana — supplied almost a fifth of all firearms found at Chicago crime scenes from 2009 to 2013.