April 5, 2011
Richard M. Daley
The Honorable Jacqueline Y. Collins
Ilinois State Senator
Springfield, Illinois 62706
Dear Senator Collins,
As Mayor and Mayor-Elect of the City of Chicago, we are writing to express our strong and unequivocal opposition t concealed carry legislation.
One of the greatest responsibilities of mayor is to keep local residents safe and secure. The most significant challenges that mayors face in meeting this responsibility are the prevalence of guns in our society that end up being used to kill or injure fellow citizens, and the difficulty in keeping guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them, including criminals and the mentally ill.
In Chicago and in cities and towns nationwide, statistics show that the vast majority of violent crime involves guns. Gun violence is responsible for an appalling number of deaths and injuries. Each year in the United States, gun violence kills over 30,000 people and injures three times as many.
The pending concealed carry legislation, which would allow Illinois residents to carry a loaded, hidden handgun in public, will only add to these grave statistics. New research shows that in the past four years alone, nearly 300 people – including 11 law enforcement officers – have been killed in shootings by people who were legally allowed to carry concealed handguns. There is no compelling evidence to show that more guns make people safer, and history shows there is no system that can adequately keep guns out of the hands of those who are legally prohibited from having them in the first place.
Some argue that Illinois should have a concealed carry law because the majority of other states have them, but rates of gun violence in other states are generally the same as in Illinois. Equally important, there is no reason to join a race to the bottom.
In Chicago or anywhere else, any life lost to gun violence is one too many. Together and separately, we have fought hard to enact common-sense gun laws to protect public safety, and we stand firmly against proposals that would undermine that goal. More guns will not make our streets safer.
We strongly urge you not to compromise your leadership and your legacy on gun issues to please those individuals who want you to believe more guns will reduce violence. We ask you to vote against concealed carry legislation in any form.
Richard M. Daley