Alderman Leslie Hairston calls for strict gun penalties in parks

Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) addresses crowd during Monday night meeting about last weekend's shooting in the Iowa Building

Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) addresses crowd during Monday night meeting about last weekend’s shooting in the Iowa Building

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL
Staff Writer

Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) said Monday that she would like to see the same penalties for carrying guns in parks as near schools.

“I think this is something good that can come out of something not so good,” said Hairston, who shared her plan at a meeting yesterday at Montgomery Place, 5550 S. Shore Drive. The meeting was held to discuss a Sunday murder in Jackson Park, in which police said an unknown offender shot two men in the park’s Iowa Building, on the 5600 block of South Everett Avenue.

Hairston said she would seek to extend the current penalties for carrying guns along school “safe passage” routes — a month in jail and up to $5000, for first time offenders — to parks. She plans to introduce an ordinance in City Council Wednesday.

“I’m sure that I will have the backing of my City Council members,” Hairston said. “Because this same meeting could be taking place in Lincoln Park. This same meeting could be taking place in Beverly. It’s just that it’s taking place in Hyde Park right now.”