Chicago gun offender registry requirements get expanded

  • An assortment of weapons representing the types seized by members of the Chicago Police Department in the first two weeks of the new year sit on display prior to a press conference to discuss the city's growing number of illegal firearms at the Gresham (6th) District in Chicago.
An assortment of weapons representing the types seized by members of the… (Anthony Souffl?/ Chicago…)
March 13, 2013|By Leonor Vivanco, @lvivanco | RedEye

Chicagoans convicted of committing violent crimes with guns must register with the Chicago Police Department as a gun offender and appear on the city's registry.

The City Council on Wednesday passed an amendment to the city's gun offender registry ordinance expanding the definition of gun offender to include convictions of violent crimes with a firearm such as kidnapping, assault, robbery, home invasion and carjacking.

They have five days to register after getting out of prison or receiving a sentence if there is no jail time.

Since 2010, any person convicted of unlawful use or possession of a firearm who lives in the city has been required to register with the Chicago police department as a gun offender. Police said last week that there were 584 gun offenders currently registered.

"Even if it doesn't wave a magic wand above violent crime, I think it's one more tool in the police department's quiver of arrows to deal with the kind of crime we're witnessing here in Chicago," said Ald. Edward Burke (14th), who proposed the changes to strengthen the ordinance.

The police department posts the name and address of every registered gun offender on its website so anybody can search for offenders within an eighth-, quarter- or half-mile of a specific address, much like the sex offender database.

Offenders are required to report in person to the police department once a year during a four-year registration period. If they don't register, they face a fine of $300 to $500 or up to six months in jail.

The ordinance, which goes into effect in April, does not apply to gun offenders who have been pardoned or had their convictions reversed on appeal.

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