In the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut tragedy, President Barack Obama has proposed the most expansive gun control policies in decades.
He recently asked Congress to pass laws banning all assault weapons and high capacity magazines, and requiring background checks on all gun sales.
While Congress will have to discuss and vote on those proposals, the President did sign 23 executive actions on gun violence. Those include requiring federal agencies make relevant data available to the federal background check system, appointing a Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and committing to finalize mental health regulations.
Local reaction to the policies was mixed.
“I think it’s ridiculous people have semi automatics. We don’t need those kinds of weapons on the streets,” said Catherine Costello, Naperville Resident.
“I see no purpose in automatic assault weapons being sold for anyone other than the military,” said Cynthia Boudreau, Naperville Resident.
“I have no opinion with having some restrictions on assault weapons. But, I’m a firm believer in the second amendment,” said Mike McCann, Oswego Resident.
“I personally don’t think that taking away guns is going to be a solution. It’s the people that are handling them and we have a lot of people that are sick out there. Until we do something with that I don’t think the strict gun laws are going to do any good,” said Becky McCann, Oswego Resident.
Gun crimes account for only .8% of crime in Naperville.
A recent FBI report on violent crime compared the first six months of 2011 with the first six months of 2012, and while the rates have risen slightly, Naperville remains the safest city of its size in Illinois.
Violent crimes cover murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, property crime, burglary, larceny/theft, and arson and rose from 54 to 60.
However, Mayor A. George Pradel is satisfied with the results saying that the overall crime rate is the lowest it’s been in 25 years.
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