New Gun Bill Could Lead to Stiffer Penalties


Springfield - Illinois's prisons currently hold nearly 49,000 inmates.

However,a new bill that would stiffen the penalties for committing a crime using a gun, could change that.

The bill's sponsor, Chicago state rep Michael Zawleski tells WAND that,"the goal of my legislation is important: Taking violent offenders who want to commit crimes with weapons off of Chicago's streets. Studies show and law enforcement is insistent that when you make the punishment serious enough, people avoid committing the crime. And if we can send the clear message that you're going to prison for an extended stay if you have guns illegally, we'll take a critical step toward safer communities."

Other state reps worry it could lead to over population, and in turn a need for a new prison.

The IDOC's director said that could mean reopening a closed prison, or building a new one.

"We're going to see enough to at least open one, if not both, and build another prison, if those numbers hold true," said director Tony Godinez.

Possibilities that exist if lawmakers pass this bill next week.


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