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posted: 3/9/2013 5:00 AM

New York gun law a model for Chicago

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Seems the only thing we hear about these days on the headline news is either "the budget" or the latest round of skirmishes between the pro-gun folk and the anti-gun folk, who would have us believe that the answer to the horrible crimes at Sandy Hook, or the nightly shootings in Chicago, is registration of guns, or registration of owners, or limitation on the sale of assault weapons. But the types of firearms under the current proposals are not responsible for the shootings happening in Chicago. The firearm of choice is the handgun, which is not covered by any of the proposed gun laws.

But there is a potential solution already working in New York City, their stop-and-frisk law. Under stop and frisk, a law enforcement officer with reason to suspect an individual is armed has the legal right to detain that person, perform a search for a firearm, and confiscate it if found. Yes, there are civil liberty issues involved, and the law saw temporary suspension while those issues were dealt with by the courts, but the law is back in force, taking guns off the street every day.

Some 8,000 guns were removed from New York streets in the first year of operation. Just think what 8,000 fewer handguns in the hands of the gangs could do to reduce the rampant shootings we are faced with in Chicago. With a program as successful as stop and frisk has proved to be, why have we not even heard of it here? With a police commissioner from NYC running Chicago's police department, you might think it would have been high on his agenda.

It's time to stop politicking over the nuances of "feel good" laws that will likely have little effect, and impose something that has been proven to work.

William Cole

Arlington Heights

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