Speaking to a national gathering of police chiefs on criminal justice reform Tuesday, President Barack Obama shifted the blame of Chicago’s gun related violence to the neighboring state of Indiana.
Even though Chicago has some of the nation’s strictest gun laws, the city still has one of the highest rates of gun crimes in the U.S.
While Second Amendment advocates often point to Chicago as an example of failing gun control laws, Obama put culpability on Chicago’s gun violence on Indiana.
“There are those who criticize any gun safety reforms by pointing to my hometown as an example,” Obama said in his speech. “The problem with that argument, as the Chicago Police Department will tell you, is that 60 percent of guns recovered in crimes come from out of state. You’ve just got to hop across the border.”
Statistics from the City of Chicago also reported most guns recovered by police in Chicago come from out of state. Though statistics show that many guns come from states with more lax firearm laws. The city report noted that specifically Indiana, Wisconsin and Mississippi, do not have laws requiring background checks for guns purchased at gun shows or over the internet.
While many of Chicago’s guns originate out of state, four firearm dealers in the Chicago area provide 20 percent of the guns recovered by police.
Indiana lawmakers did not take too well to Obama placing some blame on Chicago’s gun violence on their state. (RELATED: New Bill Would Force Americans To Pay $100 Tax On Any Gun Purchases)
“Blaming Chicago’s crime problems on Indiana is unfortunate and inaccurate,” Matt Lloyd, a spokesman for Indiana Governor Mike Pence, said in an interview with the Indianapolis Star.
Additionally, Indiana State Senator Jim Tomes, criticized Obama for his rhetoric on Indiana’s gun laws.
“It doesn’t matter where the guns come from,” Tomes told the Indianapolis Star. “It’s a societal problem in Chicago… I don’t know what in the world Indiana could have to do with their inability to deal with their criminal activity.”
In response to Obama claiming Chicago gun violence is due to lack of gun control in other states, the National Rifle Association published a Youtube video on Tuesday.
“He has all the laws he needs to stop the bloodshed now,” said NRA spokesman and CEO Wayne LaPierre in the video, specifically referring to violence in Chicago. “Under the existing federal gun laws, he could take every felon with a gun, drug dealer with a gun and criminal gang-bangers with a gun off the street tomorrow, and lock them up for five years or more, but he won’t do it.”