The Chicago Police Department announced Monday that, in an effort to control gun violence, they would be launching a new anti-gun initiative after violent crime was again rampant over the weekend, when the city saw 50 people shot and 11 casualties.
Police Superintendent David Brown said that the department would be utilize a team of 50 officers to crackdown on gun traffickers, straw buyers, disreputable licensed firearm dealers and others who help bring guns into Chicago illegally, ABC News reported.
"The point of this investigations team — which is new and unique, and a first in its class — is to get the gun before it hits the streets at the trafficking level," Brown said at a news conference. "These third parties need to hear me loud and clear: We're coming for you, and we're going to try to charge you with the highest charge we can, if not in the federal system, then at the state attorney's office."
On top of the new 50-member crew, a 24-hour tipline for gun trafficking will be created to "give Chicago residents a voice to remove these tools for violence from the streets of Chicago." Brown said that tipsters will receive "significant payouts" if their tips lead to an arrest.
Chicago suffered an 11 percent increase in shootings over the last year. Brown said that police officers across the country have witnessed drive-by shooting at rates not seen since the 1980's and 1990's.
"Do not buy guns for violent people is our message, or you will pay the price for them by doing what we hope to be serious time," Brown said. "Whatever they're paying you to go buy these guns ... it's blood money."
Brown said the new law enforcement team will collaborate with state and federal authorities in an effort to put an end to gun pipelines. The Chicago team will look to track down those who participate in the sale of illegal firearms.
Chicago police officers seized 113 illegal guns over the weekend and 6,629 since the start of 2021, a 26 percent increase from last year.
The number of people arrested on gun related charges for the year is currently at 3,264, according to Brown.