* Rep. Mike Zalewski has introduced legislation to increase minimum sentencing for repeat offenders of the Unlawful Use of a Weapon statue and more prison time for those who violate the Aggravated Use of a Weapon statute The outline from Zalewski’s spokesperson…
* UUW Carry/possess (this section is not applicable to Concealed Carry Licensees)
1st offense remains a Class A misdemeanor
A second offense remains a Class 3 felony but now will be non-probationable and the person “shall be sentenced to no less than 3 years and no more than 10 years”.
* UUW by felons or people in DOC custody (Probationers, Parolees, Mandatory Supervised Release)
Currently a Class 3 felony for the 1st offense and mandatory imprisonment of 2-10 years. Subsequent offenses and violation by parolees are Class 2 felonies with mandatory sentences of 3-14 years
Will remain a Class 3 felony with mandatory imprisonment of 4-10 years. Subsequent offenses will remain Class 2 felonies with mandatory 5-14 year sentences
* Aggravated UUW (as amended under the Firearm Concealed Carry Act)
Currently, if the weapon is in close proximity, loaded, and the offender does not have a CCL, it is a Class 4 felony. A 2nd or subsequent offense is a Class 2 felony a mandatory 3-7 year imprisonment.
Will remain a Class 4 felony for the 1st offense with a mandatory 3-7 year imprisonment and Class 2 felony with a mandatory 4-10 year imprisonment for subsequent offenses
* Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Streetgang Member
Currently, a Class 2 felony with a mandatory prison sentence of 3-10 year
This is currently not probationable when the firearm is loaded
Will remain a Class 2 felony, but require a mandatory 4-10 years in prison
* Affirmative Defense
It will be an affirmative defense to the AUU/no FOID card offense if there are no prohibitors to their FOID card being renewed, and the card is simply hung up in processing. The same defense is acceptable for CCLs hung up in processing.
* The Department of Corrections estimates big costs for Zalewski’s proposal…
The concept, designed to crack down on gun violence in the state’s largest city, would add 3,860 inmates to the state’s already overcrowded prison system, the Illinois Department of Corrections estimates.
That surge would require more space for inmates than is currently available, as well as more than $700 million in additional operational costs, the agency says.
“Based on current inmate population, IDOC does not have sufficient capacity to take on another 3,860 inmates,” Corrections spokesman Tom Shaer noted Monday. “The state would need to build at least one prison.”
Shaer did not have an estimate on how many additional prison guards would be needed.
“Hundreds of new employees, to be sure,” he noted.
I’m with Zalewski in not being so sure those numbers are accurate.
First, a big chunk of that prison population increase is likely made up of inmates who are either already in prison or will be. So, there could be a lot of double-counting going on.
Secondly, Zalewski points out that IDOC’s figure includes the cost of incarcerating some AUUW violators who would normally get probation, but, he says, the folks they are pointing to shouldn’t have legally received probation in the first place.
* I am no fan of mandatory minimums. But it’s more than obvious that the justice system, particularly in Cook County, is allowing way too many people off for what ought to be serious illegal weapons crimes.
So, perhaps legislators could tweak the minimums in the bill a bit and then repeal some other mandatory minimums - particularly on drug possession crimes - which are currently crowding our prison system in exchange for passing some version of this bill.