Gun permits on the rise in Chicago

The demand for guns is on the rise in Chicago, with 63 percent more Firearm Owners Identification cards issued in 2016 than 2015, DNAinfo reports.

Illinois State Police records show 38, 712 Chicago residents were issued FOID cards in 2016, compared to 23,725 issued in 2015. Approximately 212,000 Chicagoans are licensed to own a gun.

The number of FOID cards doled out to Chicagoans also took a significant jump in 2015, climbing 21 percent from 2014.

State Police data also show a 50 percent spike in 2016 for concealed-carry permits issued to Chicagoans. Those permits totaled 22,517 in 2016, compared to 13,948 in 2015.

Joel Ostrander owns SafeShot Ltd., which offers firearms safety and training classes, thinks more people want to legally own guns do to the spike in violent crime in Chicago, which saw 4,368 shootings and 786 murders in 2016.

“People are worried about crime in Chicago,” Ostrander said. “These are well-educated, professional people looking for a way to protect their homes and families.”

Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told DNAinfo that they are more concerned with illegal guns than guns that have been legally purchased by law-abiding citizens.

“Our issue is with illegal guns and repeat offenders who use them to engage in violence,” Guglielmi said.

The highest per capita concentration of gun permits were found in neighborhoods Edison Park and Norwood Park in the city’s northwest corner and Morgan Park and Mount Greenwood in the southwest corner. The Clearing neighborhood had the highest total number of permits, and Dunning saw the highest number of concealed-carry permits.

Two of the city’s most violent neighborhoods, Austin and North Lawndale, had far fewer permits issued than the leading neighborhoods.