CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Aldermen are urging the Illinois General Assembly to approve Mayor Emanuel’s proposal to impose a three-year mandatory minimum sentence for most gun crimes, reports WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore.

Alderman Jim Balcer, sponsor of the resolution, says State lawmakers should mandate three years in jail for most people caught with guns and without a Firearm Owners ID card.

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“Not only are we talking about saving lives, these figures equate to about $700 million a year in savings in social costs, far outweighing the extra cost of putting these criminals in prison,” said Balcer.

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But Alderman Howard Brookins Jr. was among those who said some good but fearful people might get thrown behind bars because they just decided to own a gun.

“I would rather a judge of the Circuit Court make that determination than to leave that discretion wholly with the State’s Attorney’s office,” said Brookins.

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The City Council unanimously approved the resolution for State lawmakers but spent an hour airing concerns of mostly African-American alderman.