Statewide gun safety legislation that increases minimum sentencing
for the most serious gun crimes and requires offenders to serve at least
85 percent of their sentences was introduced by Chicago Mayor Rahm
Emanuel, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez and Chicago Police
Superintendent Garry McCarthy today.
legislation would increase the penalty for felons who carry guns, from
two years to three years, with subsequent offenses requiring a minimum
of five years. The proposal also calls for an increase of the minimum sentence for aggravated unlawful use
of a weapon when the offender does not possess a valid FOID card and
the gun is in their possession and loaded, boosting it from a one year minimum to
three years. The law, if passed, would also add these specific gun crimes to the list of crimes that are subject to the Truth in Sentences guidelines,
requiring that offenders serve at least 85 percent of their sentence.
continue to escape with minor sentences for possessing and using
firearms, and these light penalties do not reflect the severity of their
crimes nor the damage they cause our communities,” said Mayor Emanuel
in a statement. “Increasing these penalties and requiring minimum
sentences will ensure criminals are held accountable and discourage
criminals from carrying and using guns.”
In 2012, the
Chicago Police Department recovered more than 7,400 guns, including 300
assault weapons, making the number of guns recovered in Chicago higher
than any other city in the U.S.
"While we are
committed to getting this legislation passed, we cannot wait for it to
wind its way through the legislature,” Alvarez said. “We
must act now to get gun-toting gangbangers off our streets. To that end,
I will be issuing a directive to all prosecutors in my office that they
shall seek only the maximum penalty allowable by the present law for
gun offenders who are responsible for the violence that is plaguing our
Until legislation is passed,
the State’s Attorney has issued a directive to all Assistant State’s
Attorneys to pursue the maximum possible sentence on gun crimes.