An NPR survey found that most Illinois residents support gun regulations that are opposed by gun owners.
According to the survey, 74 percent of Illinois residents support banning assault weapons and 88 percent support requiring fingerprints to get a Firearm Owners Identification card.
Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association, said the solution to gun violence wasn’t more restrictions, but to prosecute the people who commit gun crimes.
Pearson said people keep taking guns to the streets and committing crimes, but they’re out on probation in two weeks even though they have been charged multiple times.
“The people who want more gun restrictions actually want something done, but what you have to do is you have to use the existing law and prosecute the people who are committing all these crimes,” Pearson said. “Between 80 and 90 percent of all the murders committed in Chicago are committed by people who have already had a conviction, and so they’re buying their firearms illegally and they get caught and they’re just let loose.”
Pearson said gun lobbyists want to do more to protect their rights, but it has been difficult to get their story heard.
“We have misconceptions by the national media,” Pearson said. “They quote facts that aren’t facts, they quote things that are myths, so most of the what they use is untrue.”
Pearson said gun violence will continue to get worse if the people committing crimes on the streets aren’t held accountable.
“If you look at the number of gun-related murders in Chicago, 95 percent of them are drug-related, so it’s the drugs that’s driving this and the drug-fueled gangs that’s driving this,” Pearson said.