US & Canada

Chicago police: Gun laws blamed for weekend killings

Impounded guns Image copyright AP
Image caption Nearly 3,400 illegal firearms have been confiscated in Chicago this year

Chicago's police chief has blamed weak gun laws after a string of shootings over the holiday weekend that killed at least nine and injured dozens.

"It's Groundhog Day here in Chicago," Superintendent Garry McCarthy told reporters on Monday.

Supt McCarthy said there was a "greater sanction" for gang members to have their gun taken away from them by their own gang than for being arrested.

There were dozens of shooting incidents over the long weekend in the city.

The Chicago Tribune called it the "greatest burst of gun violence Chicago has seen this year" and said the number of fatalities was actually as high as 14.

During a press conference on Monday, Mr McCarthy said investigations were continuing into shots fired by police over the weekend, including two teenagers who were fatally shot after allegedly refusing to put down their weapons.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Superintendent Garry McCarthy told reporters there was "too little punishment" for illegal firearms possession

Mr McCarthy says Chicago is still on track to end the year with fewer murders than last year, but the number of overall shooting incidents is up.

"Everybody asks me what's the difference between New York and Chicago," Mr McCarthy, who previous worked for the New York Police Department, said. "I can tell you very simply - proliferation of firearms.

"When I chase people in New York, they throw away their guns. When we chase people here in Chicago, they keep the guns."

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