Emanuel, Preckwinkle push for tougher gun control - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Emanuel, Preckwinkle push for tougher gun control

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The Chicago mayor and the president of the Cook County Board are on the same page when it comes to gun control. They unveiled separate plans Thursday that are aimed at one problem: tracking the source of guns used in crimes.

Local law enforcers claim it would be easier if owners were forced to file these reports within 48 hours of any firearm disappearing.

While patrons were busy at the gun range at Elmwood Park's Illinois Gun Works Thursday night, there was little to do for retail sales staff in the show room. Near a poster labeling President Obama "Gun Salesman of the Year," there were hardly any firearms left, the result of panic purchases by some who fear all guns will be banned.

Pending gun control proposals fall far short of that, including Mayor Emanuel's request Thursday that the City Council increase penalties for failing to report lost or stolen firearms, dovetailing with a similar move by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

"I'm proud of this action, proud of working with President Preckwinkle to do it in a coordinated fashion so the city and county are going in lockstep to protect our residents," Mayor Emanuel said. "Because what happens over the border has a direct impact on the City of Chicago."

"The harder we can make it for people to traffic in guns, the better off we are because the gang bangers on the street are not able to purchase guns legally," Preckwinkle said on a taping of FOX 32 Sunday.

Among those supporting this new attempt to track the source of crime guns are County Sheriff Tom Dart and Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy. They argue that it will give investigators a new weapon to use against those who supply firearms to criminals.

The owner of Illinois Gun Works -- a former civilian employee of the Chicago Police Department -- however, doubts that new penalties for failing to report missing guns will have much practical impact.

"If these become law will they reduce the number of murders on the street?" FOX 32's Mike Flannery asked Gun Works owner Don Mastrianni.

"Not even faze it, won't even faze it. If you force people to, finally force people to actually report gun thefts -- some people do, some people don't already," Mastrianni responded. "But if you force people to, it's not gonna change anything."

The mayor boasted a small victory on another front in his war with gunmakers. The board of the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund voted to divest its relatively tiny $146,000 share it holds in Smith & Wesson and in Sturm Ruger & Company.

At a U.S. Conference of Mayors Meeting on Saturday, Emanuel said he'll ask other cities to have their pension funds dump their shares in gunmakers.

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