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Chicago Police Department Fails to Flag People Considered Mentally Unfit to Carry a Gun

In a city that has continually pushed for stricter gun laws, the Chicago Police Department has routinely failed to flag people whom it considers mentally unfit to legally carry a gun.

The office of the city Inspector General Joseph Ferguson received a complaint in January of 2017 that raised concerns about the CPD returning guns to individuals who had threatened suicide, the Chicago Tribune reports. Ferguson's office then crafted a report, released last week, that outlined the CPD's neglect.

The report revealed that, although the state Firearm Owners Identification Card Act required officers to notify Illinois State Police within 24 hours of determining a person was a "clear and present danger," officers only notified state police once in 37 incidents over three and a half years.

The report also determined that officers were never given any training on how to submit the necessary form—called a "Person Determined to Pose a Clear and Present Danger" form—to alert the state police.

Ferguson's office recommended that the CPD provide officer training on the FOID Act, guidance on what constitutes "clear and present danger," and instruction on how to properly complete and submit forms and other necessary identification.

The inspector general said in a press release that his report shows the benefits of civilian oversight in helping the CPD to improve public safety.

"CPD's noncompliance with the FOID Card Act has deprived it of a critical tool to take guns out of the hands of individuals who pose a threat to public safety as part of its larger effort to combat gun violence," Ferguson said.