Jul 26, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Chicago mayor: City is "inundated with guns" from states with loose gun control

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that her city is being "inundated with guns" from outside states, and that President Trump could push for gun control measures if he truly cared about helping Chicago.

Why it matters: At least 414 people have been murdered in Chicago through July 19, putting the city on track to have one of its deadliest summers since 2016, according to CNN. Trump said on Fox News Thursday that he's willing to deploy 75,000 federal agents to help cities struggling with protests and violence.

What she's saying: "The fact of the matter is our gun problem is related to the fact that we have too many illegal guns in our streets — 60% of which come from states outside of Illinois. We are being inundated with guns from states that have virtually no gun control, no background checks, no ban on assault weapons," Lightfoot said.

  • "That is the thing that if the president really wanted to help, that and the other things I identified in my letter he could do today, tomorrow. But he's not really interested in helping in that way.

The big picture: Trump and Attorney General Bill Barr announced last week that the Justice Department would "immediately surge" law enforcement to Chicago in an effort to quell the violence. Lightfoot has said she's received assurances that the federal agents deployed would be focused on dealing with gun violence, not targeting protesters like officers have been doing in Portland.

  • "No troops, no agents that are coming in outside of our knowledge, notification and control that are violating people's constitutional rights. That's the framework," Lightfoot said.
  • "We can't just allow anyone to come into Chicago, play police in our streets and neighborhoods when they don't know the first thing about our city. That's a recipe for disaster."

Worth noting: Homicides were increasing nationally before the pandemic hit, and homicide rates fell in 39 of 64 major U.S. cities during April before starting to rise again in May.

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