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Maybe a phone call might help?

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* Tribune

Traffickers who take advantage of looser laws in neighboring states to illegally import guns to Illinois will face tougher penalties if caught under a measure Gov. Bruce Rauner signed into law Tuesday.

The new law, which passed both chambers of the General Assembly without opposition, makes it a felony for a person who has not been issued a state firearm owner’s identification card to bring guns into Illinois with the intent to sell or deliver them. Penalties will be stricter for those who’ve previously been convicted on gun trafficking-related charges.

On hand to celebrate Rauner’s approval of the bill were Republican legislative leaders and representatives from the Illinois State Police. Notably, no Democratic lawmakers or Chicago Police Department officials attended the signing ceremony — an indication of the touchy political situation between Rauner and Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

The mayor has been pushing for legislation that would toughen penalties for illegal use of a weapon — an idea he raises regularly when discussing Chicago’s persistent violent crime problem. But the idea has gone nowhere in the General Assembly, stalled in part by Illinois’ different geographic views on guns, and Rauner on Tuesday said the mayor hadn’t called him on it.

The mayor hasn’t called the governor about it? Hmm.

* Sun-Times

Emanuel didn’t attend the governor’s bill signing ceremony at the Illinois State Police crime lab in Chicago. Neither did Chicago Police officials. Afterwards, the mayor issued a statement that made it clear why he was a no-show. He called it a “step in the right direction” to go after “those who knowingly bring guns into Illinois illegally.”

But he said, “We must continue to build upon this new law” by partnering with Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) and other legislators “to strengthen sentencing for the repeat gun offenders who are driving violence on our streets.”

Raoul and two other Chicago members of the black legislative caucus, Sens. Jacqueline Collins and Mattie Hunter, are sponsoring a new gun-possession bill — along with Sens. Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield), Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) and Sen. Antonio Munoz (D-Chicago), assistant majority leader.

The bill would target repeat gun offenders, creating sentencing guidelines that would suggest a stiffer prison term than the minimum sentence for crimes such as possession of a gun by a felon. If a judge chose to reject the guideline sentence and give a lesser prison term, the judge would have to say why in writing.

It’s a different approach than creating higher mandatory minimum sentences for gun offenses. Emanuel has pushed the concept for years, but it has repeatedly run into a wall in Springfield.

OK, then pick up the phone, mayor.

posted by Rich Miller
Wednesday, Aug 24, 16 @ 10:50 am

Comments

  1. Maybe he’s been too busy trying to build another private toy collection on the lakefront, you know, things that matter.

    Comment by Daniel Plainview Wednesday, Aug 24, 16 @ 10:54 am

  2. ===The new law, which passed both chambers of the General Assembly without opposition, makes it a felony for a person who has not been issued a state firearm owner’s identification card to bring guns into Illinois with the intent to sell or deliver them.===

    This was already illegal and I think this new law is largely meaningless. It won’t do much to stem the flow of illegal guns into Chicago.

    And moreover, does the Mayor need to call the Governor to plead with him to do a better job fighting gun violence? Really? Rauner can’t figure this out on his own?

    Comment by 47th Ward Wednesday, Aug 24, 16 @ 11:04 am

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