Durkin Passes Repeat Gun Offender Bill

House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, Gun Offender Bill
House Republican Leader Jim Durkin. (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

Springfield, IL-(ENEWSPF)- An expansive criminal justice reform bill sponsored by House Republican Leader Jim Durkin that cracks down on repeat violent gun offenders and provides commonsense reforms cleared the Illinois Legislature this week.

“One of the most gratifying moments in my life occurred when I was a prosecutor in Chicago. In that capacity, I investigated and prosecuted dangerous criminals for firearm offenses and violent crimes.  I have held the hands of crime victims and have brought them justice and closure. Law abiding citizens of Chicago must have safe neighborhoods. They want justice, they want closure. The Mayor of Chicago and Police Superintendent must take back their streets. This is not a total solution, but a very strong tool for law enforcement to apprehend the worst of the worst.”

SB 1722 targets violent repeat firearm offenders by increasing the minimum sentence for unlawful use of a weapon by a felon from 3 to 7 years to 7 to 14 years, and increases the minimum for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon from 3 to 6 years to 6 to 7 years.  The measure also creates a diversionary program for first-time, non-violent offenders charged with firearm possession related offenses. The program is open to individuals 20 years of age and under and is subject to State’s Attorney’s approval.  Both provisions will sunset after 5 years.

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Other provisions of SB 1722 include:

  • Creates a Violent Crime Intelligence Task Force led by the Illinois State Police with the goal of reducing and preventing illegal possession and use of firearms.
  • Expands the Offender Initiative Program, First Time offender Probation, and Second Chance Probation programs by including offenders that have previously been on probation or supervision.

“The City of Chicago is on track to surpass last year’s deadly summer if nothing is done. This bill will give police and state’s attorneys another tool to keep neighborhoods safe,” said Durkin.

The Governor is expected to sign the bill when it reaches his desk.

Source: Office of House Republican Leader Jim Durkin

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