Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Michael J. Petro provides a useful map for analyzing gun crimes in Chicago neighborhoods from 2012 to 2016.
Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive, Magnificent Mile, and the rivalry between the Cubs and the White Sox have made the city not only one of the most lively places to reside, but also a tourist attraction. While the city’s deep dish pizza deserves bragging rights and praise, there are other aspects of this city that are not too pleasing.
Gun Crimes Report
Though the U.S. Constitution states we have the right to bear arms and owning a gun in Illinois is legal, by state law, a permit must be obtained, and the weapon must be concealed. The numbers in this Report are taken from a Chicago Opendata Report. Included in the numbers are the the illegal use of weapons and the illegal possession of them as well.
According to the data, 3,474 weapons arrests were made in 2016. This is an increase from 2015 where there were 3,362 weapons arrests reported. However, both years have been a sharp decline from 2012 which had 3,904 gun related arrests.
Along with the large number of arrests, it is common knowledge across the city that there are some communities in Chicago that are safer than others. It’s depressing as it is true. Interestingly enough, the reported weapons crimes took place across all 50 wards of the city and range from 6 arrests to 306 arrests.
Neighborhoods With Most Gun Crimes
The report shows that over 100 gun crimes were committed 13 different Chicago neighborhoods in 2016. Of those thirteen neighborhoods, three saw over 200 gun crimes. The neighborhoods with the highest number of gun crimes:
- Austin – 332
- North Lawndale – 219
- West Englewood – 204
- Englewood – 151
- Roseland – 138
- Humboldt Park – 135
- East Garfield Park – 134
- Auburn Gresham – 133
- West Garfield Park – 127
- West Pullman – 116
- South Shore – 111
- New City – 109
- Greater Grand Crossing – 101
Also, the data shows that 101 gun crimes were committed near public and private school building grounds. 101 gun crimes is too many in and of itself, but it hits closer to home when the arrests are made near school grounds, even if the school isn’t in the safest neighborhood.
Out of the 25 police districts, 9 have made over 200 arrests. District 11, which includes West Garfield Park and Central Park, had over 400 weapons arrests during 2016
It is also common knowledge that the majority of the crimes and violence in Chicago occur during the summer. These patterns are found in the report as well, which shows that over 25% of these 3,474 weapons arrests occurred during the summer from June through September.
Types of Gun Charges
Those arrested for weapons fall under either one or more of these categories:
- Aggravated unlawful use of a weapon
- Defacing identity marks of a firearm
- Possession of firearm/ammunition: no FOID (Firearm Owners Identification) card
- Reckless firearm discharge
- Unlawful possession of ammunition
- Unlawful possession of handgun
- Unlawful possession of other firearm
- Unlawful sale of handgun
- Unlawful sale/delivery of firearm at school
- Unlawful use of handgun
- Unlawful Possession of a weapon by a felon
- Unlawful use of other dangerous weapon
- Unlawful use of other firearm
- Unlawful use/sale of air rifle
There are many fascinating things about Chicago, but it’s no secret that some of its fame is due in part to its high numbers in crime and violence. The number of gun arrests from 2016 alone are shocking. Chicago can be entertaining and full of life, but we shouldn’t ignore the facts.