Ill. gun bill could further crowd prisons

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Associated Press

Posted on March 25, 2013 at 3:06 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Chicago officials want to make it tougher on thugs packing weapons.

But legislation to increase prison time for illegal gun possession flies in the face of high-profile and competing policy issues.

The bill is sponsored by suburban Cook County Rep. Mike Zalewski (zuh-LES'-kee), a Democrat. It would impose mandatory sentences and longer prison time for unlawful use of weapon.

But a state analysis says if it became law it would cost Illinois $1 billion over the next decade and pump thousands more inmates into Illinois' packed prison system.

John Maki (MA'-kee) is director of the monitoring group the John Howard Association. He disagrees with supporters that longer sentences deter gun crimes. He says the law would not be worth the exorbitant cost.

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The bill is HB2265.

Online: http://www.ilga.gov

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