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Chicago Shootings Up Holiday Weekend Despite New Gun Laws, Extra Police

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Forty-two people were shot, seven fatally, over Memorial Day weekend in Chicago, despite new gun laws and extra officers patrolling the streets.

While the numbers were only slightly higher than the 39 shootings and seven deaths over the same weekend last year, the city had sought to lower gun incidents this year by deploying 1,200 additional police, as well as conducting early drug raids, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Several new gun control measures took effect Jan. 1, including expanded rules for revoking Firearms Owners’ Identification (FOID), ‘red flag’ gun confiscation procedures, and an extended rifle purchase waiting period of 72 hours, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

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“That is just an unacceptable state of affairs,” said newly sworn-in Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who rode with police Saturday night as they responded to violence across the city.

“I certainly knew that before, but to see it graphically depicted is quite shocking and says that we’ve got a long way to go as a city,” she added.

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The holiday weekend marking the start of the summer season has historically been violent for the windy city, which saw 45 shootings and seven deaths in 2017, and 71 shootings with six deaths in 2016.

The shooting totals were compiled from incidents starting 3 p.m. Friday and ending just past midnight Monday. The worst shooting episode occurred Sunday, when eight people were wounded, three fatally, in two different shootings at the ABLA Homes in the 1300 block of West Hastings Street.

“This is not a law enforcement-only challenge,” Lightfoot said.

“It’s a challenge for all of us in city government. It’s a challenge for us in communities to dig down deeper and ask ourselves what we can do to step up to stem the violence.”

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