Illinois state lawmakers continue to discuss the best strategies to address rising gun violence across the state. The House Public Safety and Violence Prevention Task Force heard more ideas from gun control advocates and supporters of the Second Amendment Thursday. […]
Rep. La Shawn Ford (D-Chicago) told the task force that it is also important to think about gun violence caused by people who are licensed. Ford said he was disappointed that several people told lawmakers Thursday that FOID holders and a right to carry don’t commit crimes.
“I wouldn’t say that,” NRA lobbyist Todd Vandermyde interjected. “I would say that they’re on the lower end of the percentages where that occurs.” […]
“I think that’s our goal and it should be all our goals to make sure that we protect people and protect our communities,” Ford said. “Hopefully, we can continue to have these dialogues and conversations about ways to do that and not have a stonewall against finding common ground.”
* Meanwhile, here’s the Daily Herald…
In the wake of this summer’s mass shooting in downtown Highland Park, Democratic state Rep. Martin Moylan of Des Plaines and his Republican challenger, Michael M. Lupo of Park Ridge, shared differing views on what the state might be able to do to curb gun violence, including whether a ban on assault weapons should be a part of a solution. […]
Lupo said Illinois and Chicago already have some of the nation’s strictest gun laws. But stepped-up scrutiny of the validity status of firearm owners’ ID cards could be one way to make improvements, he added. […]
“As far as the mass shootings, I believe we need to come up with a comprehensive plan,” he said. “Maybe with a committee or a council in Springfield — bipartisan with some mental health experts as well. And to be honest with you, I wouldn’t be opposed to temporarily halting the sale of high-powered and high-capacity rifles while that’s getting done. … It’s something that we need to take seriously and we need to take the mental health aspects seriously as well.”
Moylan said he supports the proposed statewide ban on assault weapons.
“That’s a first step,” he said. “But there’s more than just the ban on weapons. Individuals like this person (in Highland Park) will find some type of device to inflict harm on as many people as possible. So besides the ban on assault rifles, we have to get back to the mental health issue.”
* The Center Square…
Republican lawmakers who say they are fed up with Democratic efforts to lessen the penalties for drug dealers in Illinois have introduced new legislation.
Last April, the House narrowly passed a measure that lowered the criminal penalties for what they call low-level possession of drugs like fentanyl and heroin. Misdemeanors under the bill include possession of less than five grams of cocaine, less than five pills of most scheduled III substances such as Xanax and Valium, and less than 40 pills of oxycodone and similar painkillers. […]
Republicans have introduced legislation designed to allow state attorneys to prosecute fentanyl dealers. […]
The measure also provides that, “in addition to any other penalties imposed for the manufacture or delivery, or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver, not less than 6 years and not more than 30 years shall be imposed for any amount of carfentanil in excess of 150 milligrams that is stored or transmitted as a powder, blotter paper, tablet, patch, or spray if the product fails to include a warning label and an accompanying rescue level of naloxone.”
The Illinois State Police is awarding $1 million in grants to 32 local law enforcement agencies across Illinois.
The grant money will be used to conduct firearm enforcement efforts to help keep guns out of the hand of people who pose a significant threat to themselves or others.
“While the Illinois State Police has had great success in reducing expressway shootings in the Chicago area compared to this time last year, we continue to face a gun violence epidemic in this country and we need every possible resource at our disposal to combat it,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “These grants to local law enforcement agencies can help prevent a potential tragedy in our communities and I want to thank agencies across the state who have signed up to help with enforcement efforts.”
In July, ISP offered grants to law enforcement agencies to conduct enforcement operations for individuals whose Firearm Owner Identification Card have been revoked or suspended as a result of being prohibited by state or federal law.