Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Monday she has “great concerns” about the possibility President Donald Trump could soon deploy scores of federal agents to Chicago to crack down on gun violence and protests, similar to an approach in Portland, Oregon.
- Could you respond to the suggestions by President Trump over the weekend that he would maybe send federal agents here to help deal with the violence and the protests? They have been getting out of hand.
LORI LIGHTFOOT: Well, we-- I have great concerns about that, particularly given the track record in the city of Portland. I spent a lot of time yesterday talking with the mayor of Portland to get a sense of what's happened there. We don't need federal agents without any insignia taking people off the street and holding them, I think, unlawfully.
That's not what we need.
- Would you go to court?
LORI LIGHTFOOT: But I have been very clear. Let me talk about what-- if the president is truly sincere about wanting to help, there are a number of things that the federal government is uniquely qualified to do that we could use his help with. And they all revolve around the fact that we have way too many illegal guns on our streets.
Every year, our police department-- every year, our police department takes more illegal crime guns off the street than NYPD and LAPD combined. And that's because they are flowing over the border from Indiana. They're coming up from Southern states like Mississippi. And we have gun dealers just at the border of our city that are selling illegal guns.
And by that, I mean if Chuck sells a gun and it ends up on the street in a year or less, there's a problem going on there. And that is repeatedly the problem with Chuck. So he could fully fund the ATF here in Chicago. He could fully fund additional prosecutors to focus on gun violence cases. He could empower the ATF to actually do what they're supposed to do, which is go after illegal gun sales, go after federally licensed gun dealers that aren't doing their job, are selling to people that they know are straw purchasers, that have no intent whatsoever to possess those guns, and turn them over in a parking lot to the real person who's going to take those guns.
These are some easy, simple things that the president could do. He could make sure that we close the gun show loophole. We could pass universal background checks. We could make sure that people that aren't allowed to fly don't get guns.
These are simple things that could happen if the president is serious about helping us with the violence. And the thing that he can do is to stop the flow of illegal guns in our city.