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Quinn Signs New Law Mandating Extra Time for Gun Crime

By Prescott Carlson in News on Jul 19, 2010 9:50PM

While Chicago's various iterations of its gun laws ping pong back and forth to the SCOTUS, the Illinois legislature is taking a different (and some would say more measured) approach to tackling gun violence in the state, and especially Chicago -- increasing jail time for those that use a gun to commit a crime.

Sponsored by State Sen. Antonio Munoz (D-Chicago) and State Rep. Michael Zalewski (D-Riverside), House Bill 5832 adds an extra 1- to 3-year prison sentence for convicted criminals found to have used a weapon unlawfully and without possession of an Illinois firearm owner's identification card (you FOID holders who hold up a gas station apparently get a break). The bill also includes offenders merely in possession of an illegal gun.

Quinn and company picked a dramatic spot to usher in the new law, Nat King Cole Park, which is near the spot where off-duty police officer Thomas Wortham was shot and killed during the attempted theft of his motorcycle. It also comes on the heels of the shooting of another off-duty officer, Michael Bailey, who was killed on Sunday.

In a statement released by Quinn's office, Mayor Daley praised the new law saying, "This legislation will reduce the threat of gun violence by sending a clear message that serious offenders will be held accountable and will not be let off scot-free as many of them have been in the past."