Mayor Daley, others seek stricter gun-control laws

Published: 2/20/2008 7:11 AM

Mayor Richard Daley and other elected officials pointed to the fatal shootings at Northern Illinois University and a Lane Bryant store as reasons to act as they announced their annual push for new gun-control legislation.

The officials on Tuesday again said they will push a package of proposals that includes several bills that have been introduced repeatedly in Springfield, before meeting heavy opposition from gun-rights advocates.

"Gun violence is responsible for the deaths of nearly 30,000 Americans every year, many of them young people," Daley said.

Oak Park Village President David Pope recited a list of shootings on school campuses nationwide in recent months, including the latest at NIU.

"If we can't adopt some sensible legislation in the aftermath of what we just recently experienced in DeKalb, I have no idea when this is going to happen," Pope said.

The National Rifle Association, which considers the annual legislative package an attempt to infringe on gun owners' rights, declined to comment on specifics of the legislation or Daley's remarks.

"We think it is poor form for a politician or a special interest group to try to push a legislative agenda on the back of any tragedy," said Andrew Arulanandam, an NRA spokesman. "Now is the time for the Northern Illinois University community to grieve and to heal. We believe there is adequate time down the road to debate policy and politics."

Among the measures in the package of bills being pushed by Daley and others would require buyer background checks in private sales of handguns; impose more stringent requirements to safeguard firearms in places where there are children ages 17 and younger, and ban gun magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.