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Chicago Gun Bill Stalls In Senate

Chicago’s police superintendent was in Springfield Thursday urging state Senators to toughen penalties for gun possession. But he was met with resistance.

Chicago recorded 762 murders last year. Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson told legislators it’s “pivotal” that they target repeat unlawful gun possessors. The proposal would basically double the minimum sentence for the second time someone is caught with an illegal gun – from 3 to 6 years — though judges could give less time if they spell out a reason.

“This legislation is just one piece of the things we need to do to reduce the gun violence in Chicago," Johnson said.

Opponents of the measure say a lot of people carry guns for self defense, and would be better served with trauma therapy.

The legislation passed out of a Senate Committee but then hit a roadblock. Republicans don’t like some of the criminal justice reform ideas that were also part of the bill.

Brian Mackey formerly reported on state government and politics for NPR Illinois and a dozen other public radio stations across the state. Before that, he was A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
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