Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants every gun owner in Illinois register their weapon, as a way to combat illegal guns in his city.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the proposal to the state legislature would require people to register their guns, costing them $65, and renew that registration every five years.
“You already buy a title for a car. You already buy a title for a motorcycle. You buy a title for a boat. I’m not asking you to do anything you don’t do already," Emanuel said.
Gun advocates, though, disagree.
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“It’s a civil right [to own a gun]. You don’t have to pay for a civil right. It’s like a poll tax,” said Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association.
The mayor said 56% of the guns used in Chicago crimes were purchased in Illinois but outside the city, leaving a “gaping hole” that criminals are exploiting.
“We need to close that hole, shut it down, so that the hard work of the law enforcement community, the hard work of our community groups, the hard work of our faith-based community, the hard work of our parents [doesn’t go to waste and] our laws are backing them up and keeping their kids safe, rather than making them more vulnerable,” Emanuel said.
A Republican state Representative is co-sponsoring the bill with the Democrat Emanuel in an effort for bi-partisan support.