Illinois governor signs bill to crack down on criminals who are repeat gun offenders
By Chris Eger
In this March 20, 2015, file photo, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner speaks at a news conference in Chicago. (Photo: Charles Rex Arbogast/AP)
A bipartisan measure designed in part to lengthen prison sentences for repeat gun offenders in Illinois was signed on Friday.
The bill, SB 1722, termed the Safe Neighborhoods Reform Act, passed the Illinois Senate 36-12 and the House 70-41 last month. Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner described it as a landmark effort that was the product of negotiations between his administration, the General Assembly and Chicago officials.
“This legislation provides new tools for law enforcement and the Courts to take on violent crime, while providing a second chance for non-violent, first time offenders,” Rauner said in a statement. “This shows what is possible when leaders at all levels of government work together, and across party lines, to address the challenges facing our cities and state. It took several months of hard work, compromise and bipartisan cooperation — but together, we got it done.”
The new law will up sentences for some repeat offenders who use firearms from the current three to 14 years, to seven to 14 years, requiring judges who elect not to adhere to the new guideline to justify their actions.