Mayor Lori Lightfoot announces $1M fund for illegal gun tips

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a $1 million reward fund for tips about illegal guns Thursday.

Senseless shootings routinely rocking neighborhoods on the South and West sides prompted the mayor to make a new appeal for help.

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Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Thursday a reward fund for tips that lead to seizures of illegal guns.

"My hope is that this million dollar reward fund incentivizes people to step up, to speak out and to help us reclaim our streets from the shooters, and the violence," Lightfoot said.

The mayor noted that Chicago police have already confiscated more than 6,300 guns this year, and are on pace for more than 12,000 - which would be a record number of guns seized in a year.

The mayor made the announcement during a groundbreaking for a new Chicago Park District campus in Brighton Park. She said the reward money would come from the city's corporate fund.

"So I want to reassure the public that not only of my commitment, but of our resolve to fight, and make sure that this plague of gun violence is one that we win once and for all," Lightfoot said.

The announcement came as the city awaits word from the Biden administration about how the feds will be helping in the battle against violence. For those who have witnessed the impact of gun violence up close and too often, the reward fund is a welcome tool.

"In this gun-loving society, I say try it, and work. In fact, I would suggest the mayor put another million up as a reward fund for those who give tips that can help police make arrests," said Fr. Michael Pfleger, St. Sabina Church.

But one mayoral critic said there needs to be a different focus.

"This will get guns off the street that will be replaced the very next day," said Ald. Ray Lopez, 15th Ward. "Unless you are going after those individuals that are in the market for illegal guns, those gang bangers who are committed to using those guns, this changes nothing."

Details of the reward fund are still being worked out, so it's not clear how much people would get paid. The tips can be anonymous and would be coordinated through the Chicago Police tip line.
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