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Rahm Emanuel Pushes For Statewide Gun Registry In Illinois

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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (left) is expected on Thursday to call for a statewide gun registry. Though the mayor cannot introduce statewide legislation, his influence may sway lawmakers in Springfield.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (left) is expected on Thursday to call for a statewide gun registry. Though the mayor cannot introduce statewide legislation, his influence may sway lawmakers in Springfield.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is expected Thursday to introduce a proposal he hopes Illinois lawmakers will take up: a new, statewide handgun registry.

According to WBEZ, Emanuel's proposal will likely call on handgun owners to pay $65 to register each of the guns that they own, including information on the gun's owner, its make and model and where and when it was purchased, at the state level. The registration would be good for five years, at which point a renewal would cost $25.

Gun owners and dealers would need to get in touch with Illinois State Police if a gun changes hands or is lost or stolen -- or else they would risk a misdemeanor charge. Those caught with an unregistered gun could face a felony charge, WBEZ reports.

The news, which is not likely to please Illinois gun rights advocates, arrives the same week that the Second Amendment Foundation, a national gun rights group, filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court after a federal judge in Springfield defended Illinois' ban on concealed weapons.

U.S. Judge Sue Myerscough ruled Friday that the Second Amendment gives citizens the right to have guns in their home, but not to carry them in public. Illinois and the District of Columbia stand alone in prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons.

The foundation's executive director Alan Gottlieb said, as reported by NBC Chicago, that the state of Illinois is "probably our single biggest battleground right now."

The Second Amendment Foundation on Tuesday also touted a $399,950 check it received from the City of Chicago, complete with the signature of Emanuel, to cover the legal fees the group incurred during McDonald v. Chicago -- the case in which the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the city's 28-year-old handgun ban as unconstitutional.

"Even though this does not begin to cover all the costs, we have recouped some of the money that Chicago elected officials wasted in court attempting to take your gun rights away," the group proclaimed in the caption of a photo of a man holding the physical check received from the city, via Facebook, Tuesday.

Ted Cruz, a Republican Senate candidate in Texas and state's former Solicitor General, also applauded the city of Chicago's delivery of the massive check to the gun rights advocates as "very, very cool" and "great news" on his campaign website.

Last month, state officials announced that the number of people registering for state firearm owner's identification (FOID) cards in Chicago increased by 16 percent in 2011.

With roughly 1.4 million FOID-carrying gun owners in Illinois, as of the end of last year, a statewide registry would represent a significant revenue generator for the cash-strapped state. Even if each FOID holder registered just one gun, the state would take in an estimated $91 million under Emanuel's proposal.

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