Chicago Pubic Radio offers listeners a post-Heller profile of the Windy City’s firearms environment. As you might imagine, WBEZ reporter Robert Wildeboer isn’t exactly what you’d call fair and balanced on the subject, a fact that he signals early in his report: “After the court overturned Chicago’s ban, it took just a couple of weeks for the city to write, pass, and implement a new gun law. It was a decisive reaction but it was also largely symbolic. And it’s not terribly effective… at least not yet.” Effective how? At preventing gun ownership? Enabling gun ownership? Pissing off the NRA? (No bonus points for figuring out which meaning Wildeboer intended.) Near the end of the piece, we get a clear indication that Mayor Daley’s mob missed the mark on at least one of Hizzoner’s targets for his emergency gun control package . . .
The other big rationale given by the mayor for the registration process was so that Chicago police would know where the guns are.
DALEY: There’s a call. A 9-1-1 call and they’re going there. How, when they get there, should they have the knowledge that you have a right to carry a gun. That there are guns in this home, and how many guns and what type of guns there are.
The thing is, police don’t know where the guns are.
The city has collected information from about 1200 people who have applied for handgun permits but none of the information is electronically available yet for cops responding to those 9-1-1 calls Daley talked about.
KIRBY: It’s not a fully integrated database in terms of gun registration at this time.
Debra Kirby is general counsel to police Superintendent Jody Weis. She says Chicago has extremely advanced communications systems. Officers can access all sorts of information in their cars, but not information from the new firearm permit. She says they just haven’t had enough time in the 5 months since the rules became law.
KIRBY: For an officer going to a domestic violence incident to know that there’s four guns in that house, that’s helpful, and that’s the goal I think ultimately is to ensure the officers have that information.
But Kirby doesn’t know how long it will be before that information is available.
I’m thinking . . . never. Especially as Chicago’s new and improved gun laws specifically prohibit more than one operational firearm per household.