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State Senator Kwame Raoul and Superintendent Eddie Johnson Announce Major Gun Policy Effort
1 Jul 2016

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson and Illinois State Senator Kwame Raoul are

announcing new legislation today that aims to hold repeat gun offenders – the small number

of individuals who are largely driving the violence in Chicago — accountable for their crimes.

The legislation will establish guidelines that aim to keep repeat offenders from returning to the

streets before an adequate amount of time is served, while still allowing judges to use discretion to

impose lighter sentences if there are significant mitigating circumstances.

Violence in Chicago this year has been driven by repeat gun offenders, and it is clear that they are

no longer deterred by Illinois’ current laws. In fact, more than 50 individuals involved in shootings

and murders this year would have been in prison at the time of the incident if tougher sentencing

policies were already in place. Furthermore, more than a dozen individuals who were arrested for

weapons violation this year would have been in prison at the time of the incident for a previous

weapons violent conviction if tougher sentencing policies were already in place.

“Repeat gun offenders are driving the violence in Chicago. We know who they are, we know

where they live, and we know the kind of destruction they can wreck on communities. The

Chicago Police Department is working hard to keep them off this street, but we need help from the

justice system to hold them accountable for their actions,” said Superintendent Johnson. “With this

legislation, we can hold these individuals accountable, deter potential offenders from committing

crimes, and keep more residents safe and free from gun violence.”

At today’s event, Superintendent Johnson and State Senator Raoul were joined by elected

officials, community leaders, and members of clergy.

“The challenge of addressing gun violence is not one just for law enforcement: it’s one for all of

us,” said State Senator Raoul. “It’s clear we need a comprehensive solution to reduce violent

crime in our communities. Part of that solution is legislation that ensures that repeat gun offenders

are held accountable for their actions, while at the same time maintaining judicial discretion to

consider the facts of a particular case. This is the beginning of an important conversation about

how to ensure that our streets are safe from the gun crime that prevent ourcommunities from

reaching their full potential.”

The Chicago Police Department has taken many steps in recent months to address gun violence

in Chicago, including seizing more than 4,300 guns since January — a 30 percent increase from

last year. CPD has also made more than 1530 gun arrests this year, a 9 percent increase from

last year. But it is clear that there are far too many illegal guns on the streets, used by criminals

with previous arrest histories, and this legislative effort aims to complement CPD’s work. The

legislation grows out of conversations between Superintendent Johnson and Senator Raoul –

along with State Senators Munoz and Zalewski – over the past several months to comprehensively

address gun violence in Chicago

In 2013, Mayor Emanuel led an effort for stricter gun laws aimed at repeat offenders. The

legislation sought to increase penalties for several gun crimes, including a 3-year mandatory

minimum for aggravated unlawful use of a gun and a requirement that offenders serve at least 85

percent of their sentence.

Moving forward, ongoing conversations will drive this piece of legislation as lawmakers in

Springfield work to gain public support.

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