- The Washington Times - Monday, February 4, 2013

Chicago’s murder rate is far worse now than it was during the city’s most notorious crime era, Al Capone’s “gangland,” when gun-control laws hardly existed, ABC reports.

Leading up to the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, there were 26 killings in January 1929. Yet, 42 people were killed in Chicago last month, catching the attention of Chicagoans, the White House and politicians nationwide.

If the current murder rate continues, February 2013 will far exceed February 1929, when there were 26 killings, including the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.

The first national firearms act, which wasn’t signed until 1934, required approval of the local police chief, federally registered fingerprints, federal background check and a $200 tax, ABC reports. However, gun control ceased to exist during Mr. Capone’s heyday in the Roaring ‘20s.

Chicago has the strictest gun-control laws in the country. “Assault weapons” and high-capacity magazines are completely banned, and up until a 2010 Supreme Court decision, handguns were banned, too.

Residents now can get a permit to own a gun, but the process requires training, background checks and a firearm owner’s identification card.

Only 7,640 people currently hold a firearms permit in Chicago, but police seized 7,400 guns used in crimes in 2012 alone, the Washington Examiner reports.

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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