Gun trafficking is a big problem in Illinois, so lawmakers hope to pass a bill to reduce the number of people with access to illegal firearms.
The new proposal aims to keep criminals in prison longer, in the hopes of reducing the number of illegal firearms on the street.
Lawmakers are pushing a bill to keep criminals behind bars longer. If caught trafficking guns, one could serve up to 30-years in prison.
“I think the fact that they would like to increase it, hopefully that would decrease the amount of people who are considering to traffic firearms, I’m absolutely for it.”
Business manager Kathryn Jackson says anything, to help deter criminals from selling guns to people who shouldn’t have them, is a good idea.
“If we’re talking about people who are trafficking illegal guns and are then being used to kill innocent people. To me, I don’t think 30-years is too much.”
The Chicago Police Department says about 60% of the guns they find on the streets are from out of state. A lot come from Indiana where there is no permit requirement.
“We’re the strictest state that I know of with our gun laws. I have no problem with it. Maybe there might be a time where other states might look to the system we have set up.”
A spokesperson for the American Civil Liberties Union in Illinois says sentences are too long and this bill won’t solve the bigger issue.
“Underlying issues as to why people turn to violence and gang membership in the first place,” says Edwin C. Yohnka, adding that more community education programs are needed to keep people out of trouble.
“It includes additional social services in these communities and it also includes a focus on education,” Yohnka says. “That’s what every sociologist and criminologist across the country will tell you if you were talking to them.”
Governor Bruce Rauner has three weeks left to sign or veto the bill. Lawmakers passed the measure unanimously in both chambers.
The proposal is supported by the NRA and Illinois State Rifle Association.