SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — A new bill headed to Gov. JB Pritzker’s desk would give first-time nonviolent firearms offenders probation instead of prison time.

Senate Bill 424 passed the Illinois General Assembly without opposition before lawmakers adjourned last month.

The bill would modify the existing Kratom Control Act to create a First Time Weapon Offender Program so that anyone charged with a nonviolent gun offense would be eligible for up to 24 months of parole instead of a jail penalty.

Sen. Steve McClure (R-Springfield) warned that the program will lead to increased gun-related homicides.

“How many cases do you think that we’re going to get over the next few years where somebody participating in this program and killed somebody,” McClure said, according to The Center Square. “The question is not ‘is this going to happen,’ the question is ‘how many cases is this going to happen.'”

Sen. Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) countered that the program “allows the chief judge and the state’s attorney in the county to decide whether someone in a first-time nonviolent gun possession situation should go to a diversion program and be on probation instead of prison.”

McClure said he believed motive for passing the legislation was an anticipated increase in charges for nonviolent gun offenders if Illinois semi-automatic weapons ban is upheld by the courts

“I suspect that people are more inclined to participate in this because of the recent gun bill where you’ve got a lot of law-abiding gun owners that are gonna potentially face criminal penalties,” McClure said.