U.S. Sen. Mark S. Kirk (R-Ill.) is calling on the General Assembly to pass stricter penalties for gun crimes. Kirk believes a measure under consideration in Springfield which would require a minimum sentence of three years for gun crimes will help reduce gang violence across the state. He thinks those harsher penalties will persuade more gang members to cooperate with law enforcement.
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“When you’re looking at three years in prison, you’ve got a lot of leverage over the offender to flip him against the gang,” Kirk said. Kirk dismissed concerns from the National Rifle Association and other gun rights groups that the law would result in law-abiding gun owners going to prison, saying that the focus is on gang members and those who have previously committed felonies.