CHICAGO | Hoping to address the flow of guns across state lines, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart plans to host a guns summit in Indiana later this week, his spokesman told The Associated Press on Sunday.
Law enforcement authorities in both states were invited late last week to "a productive and long overdue discussion on this issue that is critically important to our states and our communities," according to the letter from Dart.
The event will be held Friday at the public safety facility in Gary, Dart spokesman Frank Bilecki said. Those invited include Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, Gary Police Chief Wade Ingram and Lake County Sheriff John Buncich.
"The goal is to discuss strategies, violence and flow of guns," Bilecki said.
Nearly 20 percent of the guns recovered by Chicago police from 2008 to 2012 were purchased in Indiana, the second-largest source for recovered firearms next to Cook County, according statistics from the University of Chicago Crime Lab.
"Ensuring the safety and protection of our communities is our shared and common goal. Unfortunately, we face increasing challenges in our work to prevent and reduce violence," Dart said in the letter, which also included gun statistics. "I am bringing together local, state and federal law enforcement leaders from Illinois and Indiana to discuss these statistics and to develop strategies to prevent firearms purchased in our states from being used to commit crimes on our streets."
Dart is a strong supporter of gun control measures including an assault weapons ban. He has also proposed beefing up Illinois' Firearm Owner's Identification system and toughening up rules on returning expired FOID cards for those who are prohibited from possessing firearms.
He met last month with U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, as well as McCarthy and Illinois State Police Director Hiram Grau to talk about guns.