Governor Signs Compromise Bill to Combat Repeat Gun Offenders

Governor Bruce Rauner today signed a landmark criminal justice bill in his capitol office with Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago), House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs), and other members of the General Assembly. The bill is a result of successful negotiations between the administration, City of Chicago and the General Assembly that will crack down on criminals who are repeat gun offenders, safely reduce the prison population, and create a more rehabilitative criminal justice system.

“This legislation provides new tools for law enforcement and the Courts to take on violent crime, while providing a second chance for non-violent, first time offenders,” Governor Rauner said. “This shows what is possible when leaders at all levels of government work together, and across party lines, to address the challenges facing our cities and state. It took several months of hard work, compromise and bipartisan cooperation – but together, we got it done.”

SB 1722 makes a number of changes to the criminal justice system to improve how we punish and rehabilitate gun offenders, as well as combat gang violence in Illinois. The bill will strengthen sentencing guidelines if they have committed a gun crime before. It also creates a First-Time Weapon Offender Diversion Program to address the underlying reasons why a young adult may have committed the offense.

"The Safe Neighborhoods Reform Act will help improve public safety in Chicago and across Illinois, holding repeat gun offenders accountable for their crimes," said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. "I want to thank Senator Kwame Raoul and Leader Jim Durkin for their leadership in advancing this important legislation, and Governor Rauner for signing it into law. Improving public safety is everyone’s responsibility, and this law will help make neighborhoods across Illinois stronger, safer and more secure.”

“Today marks an important first step toward reducing gun violence in Chicago and other gang-ridden areas in this state,” Leader Durkin said. “We need to take the streets back for the law abiding citizens of Illinois and turn the tide back to families that want nothing more than a chance to raise their children with safety.”

Additionally, the bill will create a Violent Crime Intelligence Task Force within the Illinois State Police. This task force will be dedicated to combatting gun violence and other violent crime in Chicago and around the state.