Chicago leads the nation in guns seized by police, and recently police have started displaying the guns each week to offer a visual reminder of the awesome firepower that is on the city's streets as they push for tougher gun laws. First Deputy Superintendent Al Wysinger said Monday that last year's total of 7,400 is nine times as high as the number seized in the nation's largest city, New York, and three times as high as in its second-largest, Los Angeles.
So far this year, Chicago officers have taken 574 firearms, Wysinger said Monday.
Wysinger called the spate of shootings "frustrating" for the department. But he said the number does not mean there are problems with changes the department has made to combat crime, particularly a strategy to focus on gang members and gang activity.
"Without this gang violence reduction strategy this weekend could have been a lot worse than it was," he told reporters.
McCarthy last week noted that New York finished 2012 with 418 homicides, a record low. He said New York's stiffer penalties for gun violations help. McCarthy has repeatedly mentioned Plaxico Burress, the NFL football player who spent 20 months in prison on a gun charge after accidentally shot himself, as an example of New York's tough gun laws.
"We are doing the same exact things New York is doing," said McCarthy, a former high ranking member of that city's police department. "What is different is the reasonability of the New York gun laws."