Desperate to staunch the bloodshed on the streets of the Windy City, the Chicago Police Dept. announced on Monday the formation of a new task force that it hopes will interrupt the “illegal flow of guns into the city.”
Called the “Gun Investigations Team” (GIT), the 50-person unit consisting of CPD officers and ATF agents will conduct probes designed to crack down on illegal gun sellers, traffickers, and straw purchasers, while at the same time putting emphasis on Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card revocations.
In my meeting with other leaders from across the country and @POTUS today, we discussed both short-term and long-term solutions to gun violence. We need a sense of urgency right now so we can save lives and serious consequences for those driving gun violence in our cities. https://t.co/2LVWwLypCs— Chicago Police Superintendent David O. Brown (@ChiefDavidBrown) July 12, 2021
“The point of this investigations team — which is new and unique, and a first in its class — is to get the gun before it hits the streets at the trafficking level,” said Police Superintendent David Brown at the press conference. “These third parties need to hear me loud and clear: We’re coming for you, and we’re going to try to charge you with the highest charge we can, if not in the federal system, then at the state attorney’s office.”
Operationally, the GIT will also get help from a 24-hour gun trafficking tip-line open to the public. Citizens who call in may receive “significant payouts” if the information they provide leads to an arrest.
Just this past weekend, as many as 50 people were shot in the city, 11 of which succumbed to their wounds. Brown issued a stern warning to those who may be assisting violent criminals in obtaining firearms.
“Do not buy guns for violent people is our message, or you will pay the price for them by doing what we hope to be serious time,” Brown said. “Whatever they’re paying you to go buy these guns … it’s blood money.”
I spoke about the Chicago Police Department’s efforts to reduce gun violence in our city at a press conference this morning. Our mission is to stop the flow of guns in Chicago to make our communities safer. This includes the creation of our new Gun Investigations Team. pic.twitter.com/FbgjqWxx2b— Chicago Police Superintendent David O. Brown (@ChiefDavidBrown) July 19, 2021
Chicago’s GIT faces an uphill battle and it may not make any real strides for some time. That is because most guns used in crimes take an average of eight years to reach criminal hands, as GunsAmerica has previously reported. This is what the ATF calls “time-to-crime,” and it means that, on average, the guns purchased in 2020 won’t show up at crime scenes until 2028.
Likely, there are thousands of older guns circulating on the black market in Chicago. Resourceful gangsters and drug dealers will have no problem sourcing these firearms for the foreseeable future. It goes without saying but let’s hope that Chicago PD is putting as much focus on putting these violent offenders behind bars as it is on attacking the supply chain of “crime guns.”
Interesting to note that in April of 2020 Chicago’s biggest jail — the Cook County Jail — released roughly one-fourth of its inmates over COVID-19 concerns.