A new Chicago Police Department team of about 50 officers has been created by Superintendent David Brown to target gun traffickers and people who shouldn’t have weapons because their state firearm permits have been revoked, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. The team, based in Homan Square on the West Side, will work under Jason Brown, commander of the police department’s gang investigations and narcotics division, and Elena Gottreich, a former assistant Cook County state’s attorney who, as a prosecutor, focused on gun crimes. Three groups of 10 officers will investigate gun trafficking and a fourth group of 10 will go after people with revoked Firearm Owner’s Identification cards (FOID). A fifth group of 10 officers will: help process recovered guns for testing to see whether they’ve been used in other crimes and determine who last owned them, process officers’ guns used in shootings, and handle alerts from the state police that someone’s FOID card is expired.
The gun team will also follow up on alerts from the state police about people whose FOID cards are no longer valid because they were convicted of a felony or were institutionalized for mental illness. Officers will try to seize their guns and get back their no-longer-valid FOID cards. In addition to the new police gun team, the department has sent a small number of officers to work directly with agents in the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on an existing task force. For years, Chicago cops have recovered more illegal guns than in any other U.S. city, including New York City. In 2020, Chicago cops seized more than 11,300 of them and this year are on pace to get even more.