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Rev. Pfleger Sues Suburbs Over Gun Sales Connected To Chicago Violence

By Jim Bochnowski in News on Jul 7, 2015 9:45PM

Image Credit: Dante Mozie

Reverend Michael Pfleger, the activist leader of South Side's St. Sabina Church, announced Tuesday that he has filed a lawsuit against three suburban communities for failure to properly monitor gun sales.

A report published in 2014 by Chicago's City Hall found that "a small handful of gun stores, three from Cook County and one from Gary, Indiana, continue to be responsible for a disproportionate number of crime guns recovered on Chicago's streets." Those Cook County gun stores, located in Riverdale, Lyons and Lincolnwood, sold 2,658 guns that were later recovered as part of active crime investigations.

With that knowledge in mind, Rev. Pfleger, along with the Coalition for Safe Chicago, filed suit against the three communities, alleging that they do not do enough to protect Chicago from gun violence. The lawsuit also seeks an order to require the villages to institute "common sense reforms" such as background checks for gun store employees, the establishment of a list of customers not allowed to purchase firearms and a log of all guns sold and later linked to crimes, according to CBS.

At a press conference announcing the lawsuit, Rev. Pfleger told reporters:

"I'm here this morning as part of this lawsuit, because I'm tired of seeing the bloodbath taking place in our city's streets. We all understand the realities. Riverdale, Lyons, and Lincolnwood; you have failed to enforce best practices on your own. We pray that this lawsuit will now force your hand, because it's time to shut off the gun flow onto the streets of Chicago."
Rev. Pfleger is no stranger to controversy, with his anti-gun activism leading the Illinois chapter of the NRA to compare him to ISIS last year. He's most recently made headlines as an outspoken advocate for Spike Lee's controversial film Chiraq, writing in a Facebook post:
The killing in Chicago and around the Country by both Police and Black on Black crime is Unacceptable, and it's real. If Spike Lee has the courage and God knows the talent to dig into this Black on Black Crime and try to bring about a Healing and Solution, THANK GOD.

Lee returned the favor by casting John Cusack as an anti-gun "Catholic priest based on the South Side of Chicago," as well as sponsoring and attending the annual St. Sabina block party in June. For all of his work in the community, on Sunday, Rev. Pfleger made Lee an honorary member of his church, NBC reports, telling the congregation:

"I thank you, Spike, for your courage. With all the hell that came against him from the aldermen, mayor, the pit bulls, he stayed the course because he decided he wanted to address the black-on-black violence and save lives of our future ... because the violence is the core of this."