US Senator Touts Fed Gun Intelligence Center in Chicago

Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin toured the center Friday, saying, “You can’t fight a war without intelligence.” 

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U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) speaks on the final day of the Democratic National Convention at Time Warner Cable Arena on Sep. 6, 2012, in Charlotte, N.C. 

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After a spate of shootings across Chicago that left over a dozen dead and nearly 100 wounded, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) on Friday toured a new federal Gun Crime Intelligence Center, saying, “You can’t fight a war without intelligence,” the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Led by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the office will collect data on the more than 7,000 firearms used in crimes and recovered by Chicago police each year, the Sun-Times writes.

“You can't fight a war without intelligence, to know where the weapons are, where the shooters are and to stop it before it happens,” Durbin said Friday at the center's downtown offices, the Sun-Times writes.

Agents will work with other ATF officials in Indiana, Mississippi, Wisconsin and other states from where guns are brought to Chicago, the report says.

President Barack Obama asked the ATF to step up its forces in Chicago, Durbin said, adding seven agents for a total of 52, the Sun-Times says.

The president hopes to bring even more agents here “to upgrade the crime intelligence efforts, so that we can get to these guns and these shooters before the crime and before the death,” Durbin said, according to the news site.

Durbin’s tour comes after at least 40 people were shot and four killed last weekend  and after 82 people were shot and 14 killed in the city over the July 4th holiday, drawing attention to the city's staggering problem with gun violence. Durbin expressed hope that ATF agents could help curb the violence.

Read more at the Chicago Sun-Times.