Several mothers of young men killed by gun violence in Chicago are named as plaintiffs in a lawsuit against three suburban Chicago communities: Lyons, Riverdale, and Lincolnwood. The women, along with the Coalition for Safe Chicago Communities and antiviolence activists like the Father Michael Pfleger and the Rev. Robin Hood, are targeting those three villages because gun shops in each village (along with a fourth shop in Indiana) together make up 20 percent of the guns recovered at Chicago crime scenes. Attorneys who filed the suit Tuesday morning explain that those towns have lax or insufficient methods of licensing and regulating their gun dealers, and are therefore disproportionately impacting poor and minority communities in Chicago.
Last May, the city of Chicago, Office of the Mayor, and the Chicago Police Department released a report titled, Tracing the Guns: The Impact of Illegal Guns on Violence in Chicago. The report is listed as Exhibit A in the lawsuit. Read the report.
The Village of Lyons issued the following statement in response to the lawsuit filed Tuesday:
The Village of Lyons has met several times with the Chicago Police Department and members of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s staff in the last two years to address their concerns about a local business in our community.
We have recommended the Chicago Police place an officer at the gun store to monitor gun sales, but they have repeatedly declined that recommendation.
Lyons continues to monitor and work with the gun store to ensure that it follows the letter of the law. We believe they do follow all regulations on gun sales as mandated by the state and federal government. The gun shop is also regulated by the Illinois State Police and the Federal Department of “Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms” (ATF).
The Village of Lyons has not been served or seen the lawsuit so we cannot comment on the specific allegations in the lawsuit. However, it is obvious the City is looking to pass the blame onto outside communities and businesses for the crimes and short-comings in dealing with the crimes in neighborhoods within the City of Chicago.
We are saddened by the recent events in the City and hope Chicago can start to improve conditions for its residents.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit against Lyons, Riverdale, and Lincolnwood held a press conference Tuesday morning. Watch the entire press conference in this web extra video.
In this web extra video, Father Michael Pfleger talks about the death of 7-year-old Amari Brown over the holiday weekend.