'Gun-share' exhibit points out easy access to assault weapons

Visitors to Chicago can see an art installation this week that aims to show how easy it is for ordinary Americans to gain access to high-powered guns.

Gun-control activists illustrate that gaining access to guns is as easy as renting a bike

From a distance, it almost looks like a bike-sharing dock, but activists put these fake, semi-automatic assault rifles on display in Chicago to spark discussion about gun violence and gun laws in the U.S. (The Escape Pod/Facebook)

Visitors to Chicago can see an art installation this week that aims to show how easy it is for ordinary Americans to gain access to high-powered guns.

The installation, called the Metro Gun Share Program, is a mockup of an urban bike-sharing dock.

Ten "guns" are displayed in a row, replicas of the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, the same kind of weapon that was used in the Parkland, Fla., high school shooting that left 17 dead in February.

The Chicago-based Escape Pod advertising agency partnered with the Brady Centre to Prevent Gun Violence to launch the exhibit in Daley Plaza.

The agency said the installation will be in the plaza through May 16.

A sign near the display suggests some of the tightening of gun laws needs to occur at the federal level. It says the neighbouring state of Indiana has some of laxest gun control laws in the country, and that "one in five Chicago crime guns come from Indiana."

The sign says Chicago has a high rate of gun deaths, despite Illinois having some of the country's toughest gun control laws in the U.S.

Illinois congressman Mike Quigley joined in the discussion on Monday, tweeting that 60 per cent of recovered Chicago crime guns come from out of state.

"Getting a gun shouldn't be as easy as renting a bike — but in many cases, it is," the Democrat said.

Quigley said the exhibit "reminds us just how dangerously simple it can be for an everyday civilian to obtain a weapon of war."