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Indiana blamed for Chicago gun problem

Posted at 8:24 PM, Jan 08, 2016

ANDERSON, Ind. -- Anderson hosts one of several gun shows across the state this weekend, and it comes during a renewed debate over tighter gun control laws. 

On Friday, gun and ammunition vendors were setting up at Anderson's Mounds Mall where hundreds of gun enthusiasts are expected to attend the show. 

This week, President Obama pleaded for stricter gun control laws. 

At the centerpiece of Obama's plan is a more sweeping definition of gun dealers that the administration hopes will expand the number of sales subject to background checks. Under current law, only federally licensed gun dealers must conduct background checks on buyers. But at gun shows, websites and flea markets, sellers often skirt that requirement by declining to register as licensed dealers.

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It is a touchy subject for some gun owners. 

"A lot of people are afraid that they're coming to take people's guns and they keep saying that's not what they want to do, but they're trying to get their foot in the door, is the way I see it," gun show vendor Brian Lausch said. 

In Anderson, authorities say that two recent gun store burglaries netted around 200 guns, with many traced to Chicago by the ATF. 

Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings says that tougher gun crime sentences are an important step in reducing gun violence. 

"I appreciate the debate, but we've proven that's already successful. And all you have to do is look at what's happened in New York City, tougher penalties for people who violate the gun laws. Take criminals off the streets and violence goes down, and that's the reality," Cummings said. 

On Thursday night, President Obama took aim at what he called Indiana's lax gun control laws and their contribution to Chicago's gun violence. 

"Well, the problem is, is that about 30, 40 percent of those guns are coming from Indiana, across the border, where there are much laxer laws.  And so folks will go to a gun show and purchase a whole bunch of firearms, put them in a van, drive up into Mike Pfleger’s neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, where his parish is, open up the trunk, and those things are for sale," he said.

MORE | President Obama: Indiana's gun control laws are "lax"

Call 6 Investigates asked the White House to provide us the source of their figures. 

A City of Chicago report found that between 2009 and 2013, nearly 3,800 illegal weapons or 19 percent could be traced to Indiana. 

In part, the report suggested this was happening because background checks were not done at gun shows or the internet. 

Other states identified in that report included Mississippi and Wisconsin. 

In 2015, the University of Chicago Crime Lab conducted a survey of 99 inmates at the Cook County Jail. They found a majority of those arrested for gun related crimes got their weapons from a friend and never went to a store. 

The report mentioned that 30 percent of guns recovered from gang members can be traced to Indiana.


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