Senate Targets Chicago Gun Offenders

Apr 6, 2017

The Illinois Senate on Thursday passed stricter gun legislation long sought by the Chicago Police.

It's meant to get judges to impose longer sentences on repeat gun offenders.

It would target people who get caught with an illegal gun more than once, basically doubling their sentence from 3 to 6 years.

“I’ve got to go home like all of you have to go home — to this carnage,” Sen. Kwame Raoul, a Democrat from Chicago, said during debate. “If this saves one life, just one life, I think it’s worth it.”

It passed on a vote of 35 to 9, but several legislators voted “present” — or didn’t vote at all.

“Locking up more people is not the solution to gun violence.,” says Democratic Senator Jackie Collins, of Chicago. “What is needed is economic development, police reform, and stopping the flow of illegal guns in communities ravaged by deep concentrations of poverty and hopelessness.”

An analysis by the Illinois Department of Corrections says the proposal could drive up the prison population by more than 1,300 inmates. But the legislation would also let judges give less time if they spell out a reason, making the true effect hard to predict.