Lawmaker proposing 'Grand Theft Auto' ban says video game contributes to carjackings

Retired police officer recently had vehicle stolen in Illinois carjacking

ByABC 7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
IL rep. proposes banning 'Grand Theft Auto,' saying it contributes to carjackings
An Illinois representative is proposing banning the popular video game "Grand Theft Auto" in the state. He said it's contributing to the surge in Chicago-area carjackings.

An Illinois lawmaker has a new response to the recent surge in carjackings around the Chicago area, banning a popular video game.

Democratic State Rep. Marcus Evans pointed at "Grand Theft Auto," which depicts scenes of violent car thefts, robberies and general criminal activity, as inspiration for what's happening in his home district.

"Grand Theft Auto," which had its first installment released in 1997, is the main issue, he said.

Evans said he plans to introduce a bill to ban sales of the game in Illinois.

"'Grand Theft Auto' and other violent video games are getting in the minds of our young people and perpetuating the normalcy of carjacking," Evans said. "Carjacking is not normal and carjacking must stop."

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Evans also thanked on Monday community activist Early Walker for starting "Operation Safe Pump," in which security teams patrol gas stations, to protect people while they're pumping gas. It was recently extended to other nearby cities, as a retired police officer was targeted and carjacked last week.

Walker agreed with Evans' conclusion about the game, in which players steal cars as part of a larger plot of organized crime.

"Representative Evans and I have researched and concluded that these very young offenders of carjacking are greatly influenced by the Grand Theft Auto video game," Walker said. "I truly believe that there is bipartisan support to ban this game from being sold in Illinois."