Mayor Emanuel Says Bill For Harsher Sentences On Repeat Gun Offenders Faces Challenges

CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Emanuel said he is not disheartened by word that a bill to get tough on repeat gun offenders remains stalled in Springfield.

Rahm Emanuel was asked if he’s disappointed that legislation to impose harsher sentences on repeat gun offenders was dead. It’s a truism in Springfield that almost nothing is ever really dead in the Illinois General Assembly, but Mayor Emanuel was serious about countering any suggestion the bill was failing. WBBM’s Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports from City Hall.

Mayor Emanuel said he is not giving up on the bill to increase minimum penalties for repeat gun offenders, and is continuing to fight for it. But his annoyance that the bill has stalled in the legislature showed through.

“I will say to Springfield, you have walked away from children. You do not invest in after school, you do not invest in summer jobs. At least do one thing – put certainty around sentencing when for repeat gun offenders.”

Some Democrats have argued that the bill might catch people carrying guns for protection in its net. Sponsors say it won’t. And some Republicans raise questions about reducing penalties or low-level drug cases. Sponsors say those people shouldn’t be crowding our jails.

In an op-ed piece for the Tribune, lead Sponsor Senator Kwame Raoul, point-by-point refutes what he calls myths about the legislation, and said Besieged neighborhoods deserve a break from the cycle of gun violence.

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