- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Chicago City Council members meeting Wednesday will vote on expanding the city’s already-strict gun laws, just two days after a 6-month-old girl was fatally shot in a gang-related incident.

The girl, Jonylah Watkins, was shot and killed while her father, Jonathan, changed her diaper in the back of his parked minivan. Police on Tuesday said Mr. Watkins, who was shot and injured in the Monday drive-by, too, had a lengthy criminal background that included gang ties, FOX 32 News reports. As police continue their investigation, city officials are trying to ramp up gun policies.

The Council votes Wednesday on a proposal to expand the city’s gun offender registry and database, NBC Chicago reports. The legislation would require any city resident convicted of a violent gun-related crime to register with city police — much as sex offenders do. They would also have to keep in touch with police and have their registration reviewed every four years, NBC says.

The registry requirement would apply to even those with gun-related convictions from elsewhere who move into the city — not just those who commit crimes with guns inside city limits, NBC reports.

The city’s proposal mirrors what Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants on a statewide basis, NBC says. He said he’d like to see a law mandating all handguns in the state be registered with police, to give them “essential information about guns used to commit a crime, reduce illegal firearm transfers and create a fair system of accountability for gun owners,” NBC quotes.

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