Lyons Mayor Christopher Getty honored by state crime fighters
The Illinois State Crime Commission (ISCC) honored Village of Lyons President Christopher Getty as the “2016 Man of the Year” at it’s 20th Annual “Salute to Those Who Make A Difference” Award Dinner held June 15 at the Drury Lane in Oak Brook.
Getty received the state crime fighting organization’s highest honor for his role in forging compromise legislation to increase community safety by cracking down on the growing problem in gun sales where “straw buyers” who purchase weapons legally from gun shops give them to criminals.
One of the regions three gun shops is located in Lyons. Under Getty’s direction, the village approved new protocols that toughen screening of gun applicants while respecting the rights of Americans to own guns, legislation that is being reviewed and emulated in dozens of communities across the state and the country.
Cook County officials have approved an IGA (InterGovernmental Agreement) to cooperate with Lyons on the issue of guns falling into the hands of criminals.
“I am very honored by this but I am more honored that the protocols we established in Lyons will not only improve safety for residents in our village but also the safety of countless others across this state where guns purchased by legally qualified individuals end up in the hands of the criminals,” Getty said following the award presentation.
Among the requirements under the Getty legislation: gun shops must maintain and provide records to law enforcement including maintaining a “Do Not Sell” list, and documenting all individuals who purchase guns more than once in a 12 month period.
Most importantly, the gun shop owners agreed to provide the names to police of any individual who owns a FOIA card, which is required to purchase a gun legally in Illinois, when the store denies the sale. Too often, straw buyers who qualify to purchase guns do so accompanied by individuals with criminal histories or who do not have FOIA certification and the newly purchased weapons are handed to those individuals inside and near the shop.
“When a gun shop clerk suspects that a sale is really intended for someone else, that employee now has the ability to do something about it,” Getty said.
Officials of the ISCC praised Getty and his efforts to find effective strategies to crack down on the misuse of guns that end up in the hands of criminals. Too often, guns purchased legally are recovered in crimes committed by individuals who are banned from owning guns.
The Illinois State Crime Commission/Police Athletic League of Illinois is a non-profit guided youth organization with a mission to reduce juvenile delinquency and promote positive interaction between law enforcement and communities, relying heavily on athletics and recreational activities to tighten this bond.
It is the largest and fastest- growing not-for-profit organization committed to combating public corruption and strengthening the Illinois criminal justice system in Illinois.
Getty thanked members of the Lyons Village Board who worked with his office to define the gun sales protocols and also with Attorney Burton S. Odelson who finalized the legal version of the bill.
“Our purpose isn’t to engage in a heated debate over gun ownership. That’s for the Federal Government to decide,” Getty said.
“But, we can take steps to keep or citizens and members of the public safe by helping to curb the number of firearms that end up in the hands of criminals and are responsible for injury and death by using commonsense and respecting individual rights.”
The Lyons ordinance was adopted by the Village of Lyons Board of Trustees on Tuesday October 27, 2015.
Hanania covered Chicago political beats including Chicago City Hall while at the Daily Southtown Newspapers (1976-1985) and later for the Chicago Sun-Times (1985-1992). He published The Villager Community Newspapers covering 12 Southwest suburban regions (1993-1997). Hanania also hosted live political news radio talkshows on WLS AM (1980 - 1991), and also on WBBM FM, WLUP FM, WSBC AM in Chicago, and WNZK AM in Detroit.
The recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, Hanania was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. Hananiaalso received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
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