Gun violence crimes become federal priority

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A Cook County official wants federal authorities to prosecute more gun cases.

In a news release Wednesday, Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey says the number of cases prosecuted by the U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago has dropped from 129 in 1999 to 73 in 2011 to 40 in 2012. That’s despite studies that have shown federal prosecutions effectively deter gun crimes.

Officials in Chicago and Cook County have been pushing for tougher gun laws recently.

The city is considering increasing jail time for those who fail to report when their guns are stolen, lost or sold. On Tuesday the county board voted in favor of an ordinance that calls for a fine of as much as $2,000 for gun owners who don’t report that information to the sheriff’s office.

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