* Rep. Zalewski’s new amendment will likely move out of the House Judiciary Committee today, but as of late yesterday, the NRA was still opposed…
The sponsor of a plan to crack down on gun-related violence in Chicago has tweaked his original proposal in hopes of winning approval in the General Assembly this week.
State Rep. Michael Zalewski’s legislation to boost the minimum amount of time gun-toting criminals must spend in prison now includes a provision that would take a lighter-handed approach when it comes to first-time offenders.
“This legislation will in-crease minimum sentencing for repeat offenders and unlawful gun owners. It strictly addressed the most serious gun crimes and requires serving 85 percent of the imposed sentences,” notes a fact sheet distributed Monday by the Riverside Democrat.
The changes are largely aimed at addressing concerns raised by gun rights advocates, who argued the original version might have meant first-time gun law offenders could face a minimum of four years in prison for what amounts to a mistake.
State Rep. Michael Zalewski (D-Riverside) amended his proposal, Senate Bill 1342, so that someone caught for the first time carrying a loaded, accessible gun without a state gun permit would face a minimum one-year prison sentence and be required to serve 85 percent of that time.
His original bill established a three-year mandatory minimum sentence for such first-time offenses, a significant step up from existing law that permits one-year sentences with offenders getting set free in as little as six months with good-behavior credits.
Another change Zalewski made Monday involves eliminating county boot camp as a sentencing option for weapons offenses involving gang members, felons or parolees – a move motivated by circumstances in the September mass shootings at Cornell Square Park on the South Side. […]
But Todd Vandermyde, a lobbyist for the National Rifle Association, said he is “skeptical at best” about the changes and insisted they don’t “go far enough” to address concerns about law-abiding gun-owners, particularly from out of state, inadvertently facing prison time.
“This is like Jason out of a ‘Friday the 13th’ movie,” Vandermyde told the Chicago Sun-Times, when asked about the legislation’s overall chances this week, when lawmakers are expected to conclude their fall session. “It’s been killed three times already.”
* From an outline distributed by Zalewski’s spokesperson yesterday…
Strengthening Illinois Gun Laws
SB 1342 (Zalewski)
This legislation will increase minimum sentencing for repeat offenders and unlawful gun owners. It strictly addressed the most serious gun crimes and requires serving 85% of the imposed sentences. The legislation has been amended based on the newly effective Firearm Concealed Carry Act (7/9/13).
1. UUW by felons or people in DOC custody (Probationers, Parolees, Mandatory Supervised Release)
o 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
o Will remain a Class 3 felony with mandatory imprisonment of 3-10 years ; subsequent offenses will remain Class 2 felonies with mandatory 4-14 year sentences
2. Aggravated UUW (as amended under the Firearm Concealed Carry Act)
o Currently, if the weapon is in close proximity, loaded, and the offender does not have a FOID, it is a Class 4 felony. A 2nd or subsequent offense is a Class 2 felony a mandatory 3-7 year imprisonment.
o Will remain a Class 4 felony with a 1 year minimum for the 1st offense. Subsequent offenses will be Class 2 felonies with a 4-10 year imprisonment.
3. Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Streetgang Member
o Currently, a Class 2 felony with a mandatory prison sentence of 3-10 year
o Will remain a Class 2 felony, but require a mandatory 4-10 years in prison
4. Boot Camp
o County Boot Camp is not authorized for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Streetgang Member or Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by Felons or People in DOC Custody offenses.
These offenses will be added to 730 ILCS 5/3-6-3(a)(2) following (vii), Rules and Regulations for Sentence Credit. The section requires service of 85% of sentenced time.
This bill increases prison sentences for the worst gun offenses and requires the offenders serve at least 85% of the sentence. The legislation has been amended based on the newly effective Firearm Concealed Carry Act (7/9/13).
Penalties are increased for:
o UUW by felons or people in custody of DOC to a minimum of 4 years and a minimum of 5 years for subsequent offenses
o AUUW + no FOID card with a minimum of 4 years for the 2nd offense
o Unlawful possession by a streetgang member up from 3 years to a minimum of 4 years
The Truth in Sentencing/85% service requirement is imposed on:
o UUW by felons or in DOC custody
o AUUW (no FOID and CCL)
o Unlawful possession by a streetgang member
Boot Camp is not permitted for the Unlawful Possession offenses.