April 28, 2010

Mayor Daley Praises General Assembly For Approving Gun Legislation Strengthening Penalties For Unlawful Use Of A Weapon

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Richard M. Daley thanked the Members of the Illinois Senate today for unanimously approving House Bill 5832, which makes Unlawful Use of a Weapon a non-probationable offense when the offender carries a loaded weapon and has not been issued a valid Firearms Owner's Identification (FOID) card. The bill passed out of the Senate with a vote of 53 to 0 and will now await the Governor’s signature.

“I want to thank the members of the General Assembly in both the House and the Senate for supporting this legislation that will help protect the residents of Chicago and will provide real consequences for people who choose to carry loaded weapons on our streets and in our neighborhoods without having a valid FOID card,” said Mayor Daley. “This bill protects the rights of law abiding citizens, but also gives us another tool to combat violence in our neighborhoods and protect our children. I encourage the Governor to sign it.”

The bill amends the Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon statute by making it non-probationable when the offender is carrying a loaded weapon and has not been issued a valid Firearms Owner's Identification (FOID) card by the Illinois State Police. The bill was sponsored by Representatives Mike Zalewski and Edward Acevedo in the House and Senator Tony Munoz in the Senate.
Senators Jacqueline Collins and Kirk Dillard were co-sponsors as well.

“This law reduces 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 are today,” said Daley.

In last year’s session in Springfield, the General Assembly passed three common-sense gun law proposals supported by Mayor Daley.

One measure makes Unlawful Use of a Weapon by a gang member as a Class 2 felony, punishable by a minimum sentence of 3 years and a maximum of 10 years. 

Another increases penalties for shooting students on or near school grounds and on or near public transit, and the third creates an interstate gun trafficking task force within the Illinois State Police.

“Support of these bills is a clear sign that our people want these laws,” said Mayor Daley. “That’s why we will continue to work for common-sense gun laws that focus on stopping the flow of illegal guns into our communities and keeping guns out of the hands of criminals.”