Gun Laws & Legislation

Sen. Dick Durbin Blames Indiana, Mississippi For Chicago’s Gun Violence


David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief
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Senate Minority Whip Sen. Dick Durbin said Tuesday that Chicago’s gun violence problem is a result of “less regulation over firearms” in states like Indiana and Mississippi.

“According to the city’s gun trace report in 2017, the majority of illegally used or possessed firearms recovered in Chicago are traced back to states with less regulation over firearms, such as Indiana and Mississippi,” Durbin told the Senate Judiciary Committee during confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. (RELATED: Dick Durbin Avoids Question From Chuck Todd About Court Packing)

“The 2017 report found that Indiana alone was the source of 21% of all Chicago’s recovered crime guns,” Durbin continued. “We know how it works; where you live, you know how it works. There’s a traffic between Chicago, northern Indiana and Michigan going on constantly. Gun shows are held in Gary, Indiana and other places.”

Durbin described Chicago as a “great city” but one with “great problems too: and one of them is gun violence. The Democratic Illinois senator noted that over 3,200 people have been shot in the city thus far in 2020.

The city saw a massive spike in gun violence and murders over the summer. In July the murder rate was 139% higher than it was during the same month in 2019. At the time, Democratic Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot attempted to link the increased killings to the COVID-19 pandemic. (RELATED: Sen. Dick Durbin Calls ICE ‘A Group Of Incompetents’)

Lightfoot has also blamed the city’s gun violence on Mississippi, something Republican Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves called a “ridiculous conspiracy theory.”

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - APRIL 16: Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot arrives at Wrigley Field on April 16, 2020 in Chicago Illinois. Wrigley Field has been converted to a temporary satellite food packing and distribution center in cooperation with the Lakeville Food Pantry to support ongoing relief efforts underway in the city as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot arrives at Wrigley Field on Apr. 16, 2020 in Chicago Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Durbin suggested guns are being sold in Indiana “without background checks” and said the phenomenon could be linked to the “gangbangers and thugs” who “fill up their trunks of their cars with firearms and head into the city of Chicago and kill everyone from infants to older people … It’s a horrific situation.”

The senator suggested the more background checks at gun shows in Indiana would alleviate the problem just as he suggested Barrett wants to “take away part of that protection” by suggesting that only felonies that are violent in danger should disqualify people from gun ownership.