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Editorial: Stop ‘straw buyers’ of guns

Sun-Times Library

Sun-Times Library

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Updated: October 15, 2012 9:49AM

For three years Chicago and Cook County officials have been pushing a law that would help close the spigot of guns flowing illegally into the city.

So, far the National Rifle Association has blocked the law in Springfield, but officials here should keep pushing.

The so-called “lost or stolen” law would require gun owners to report a lost or stolen gun within 72 hours of noticing it is missing. It would help discourage “straw buyers” who purchase numerous guns legally in the suburbs and then sell them to felons in Chicago.

As reporter Frank Main noted in the Sun-Times series “Chicago Under Fire,” straw buyers often say their weapons were lost or stolen when guns are traced back to them after a crime. A law requiring the reporting of lost or stolen guns would protect legitimate gunowners, but discourage straw purchases.

Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said Thursday she will again bring up the law, which also is supported by Police Supt. Garry McCarthy, when the new Legislature reconvenes next year.

“Maybe the fact that we have seen all these shootings this past summer might be enough to sway some of these legislators,” Alvarez said.

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