Cook County sheriff deputies recover guns stolen from River Grove collector

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Cook County sheriff deputies have cracked a case involving stolen guns from a collector's garage in River Grove.

Sheriff Tom Dart says these arrests were crucial because the weapons were recovered before they could be used in a crime.

Dart said these two gun runners are accused of selling the weapons to several different people all over Cook County.

"One gun was sold for a boa constrictor, one gun was sold for a bike, cash," Dart said.

Police began tracking the stolen guns after 19-year-old Jorge Figueroa was stopped for a routine traffic stop. Within weeks of the gun theft, police were able to recover 26 guns at 17 different locations.

"This is a perfect example of how quickly law enforcement can move to try to get the guns before they are used in a crime," Dart said.

Dart and many in law enforcement say prevention is helped by the right laws. Under Illinois' new Conceal Carry law, gun owners must report a stolen weapon to police immediately.

However, there is not a requirement to report the transfer of a firearm to another person.

"Right now, you can walk into a gun store with a FOID card and buy as many guns as you want and there is no accountability with what you will do with the firearms, these are the guns that end up on the streets of Chicago," Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said.

At the City Club Wednesday, McCarthy once again urged Illinois lawmakers to pass laws that would prevent guns from getting into the hands of criminals as well as laws that would increase jail time for possession of an illegal firearm.

"At the end of the day, what we have here in Chicago is too many guns coming in and not enough punishment going out," McCarthy said.

McCarthy said the illegal possession of a loaded firearm must be considered a violent crime for sentencing purposes. McCarthy says his hometown of New York City has some of these laws and place, which he claims has made a difference. Last year Chicago recovered seven illegal guns for every one gun that the NYPD recovered.

McCarthy said that even if these laws are passed, the Second Amendment would still be protected.
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