Emanuel sends City Council plan to toughen gun penalties

Clout Street

As promised, Mayor Rahm Emanuel today sent the City Council a proposal to increase the potential jail time for certain gun violations in Chicago.

The mayor, who supports President Barack Obama's gun control efforts in Washington, has said he doesn't want to wait for federal action.

Chicago has experienced decades of serious gun violence -- including 506 homicides in 2012, a 16 percent increase from the previous year -- in spite of repeated moves by Emanuel and predecessor Richard M. Daley to enact the strongest possible municipal gun ordinances that will withstand legal challenges from the gun lobby.

The ordinance Emanuel introduced would allow jail sentences of up to six months for Chicagoans who fail to report that their guns are lost, stolen or transferred to a new owner, an increase from the three-month maximum behind bars now. It's unclear how many cases are prosecuted under the current rules.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle on Wednesday introduced her own ordinance to set a mandatory $1,000 fine for failure to report to the sheriff the theft, loss or transfer of a firearm within 48 hours.

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