Drawing the ire of the gun lobby, Cook County Board President Preckwinkle is eyeing a violence tax on guns and ammunition sold in the city and suburbs, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned.

Such a tax alone wouldn't close a $115 million budget gap in 2013, but it could at least funnel money into the county’s $3 billion operation—where roughly two-thirds of the budget pays for both the county’s public health clinics and two hospitals along with the criminal justice system that includes the courts and jail.

The idea is to curb the number of guns in circulation, he said, citing a report issued last summer showing that nearly one-third of the guns recovered on Chicago's streets were purchased in suburban gun shops.

Other statistics are more dire: Murders in Chicago are up 25% this year, according to recent police statistics, and the county jail is filling up—with 9,000-plus inmates, nearing the 10,155 capacity.

Read the full Chicago Sun-Times story.

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