Wednesday, July 21, 2010

New Gun Law Mandates Mandatory Prison Time

In a move that seems to be flying a little under the radar, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill into law yesterday that makes a Class 4 Unlawful Use of Weapon conviction not probationable.  Starting January 1, 2011, anyone convicted of carrying a loaded gun without a state firearm owner's identification card will be required to be sentenced to 1 year in prison.  Previously, someone convicted of this crime was eligible for probation.  This new law will make it much more difficult to negotiate plea agreements with prosecutors on UUW cases because the possibility of probation is now off the table.  This law was passed during an election year in which politicians are trying to portray an image of "being tough on crime" by trying to feed off of the recent spike in gun violence in Chicago.  Yesterday's bill signing occurred during an event to honor the memory of Chicago police officer Thomas Whortham who was recently shot and killed outside of his parents home.  During the bill signing, Governor Quinn pointed out that his Republican opponent for Governor, Sen. Bill Brady, had voted against the bill.   

The new law will go into effect on January 1, 2011.

For more information about the Chicago criminal defense attorneys at Legal Defenders, P.C., visit us at or call us anytime at 1-800-228-7295.


Anonymous said...

How many citizens that only carry to defend themselves will now go to prison? What a stupid law and waste of taxpayers money.

James G. Dimeas said...

While the intentions may be good the result will not be fair. Taking the option for a lesser sentence out of judge's hands does not do justice. A cookie cutter mentally to criminal punishments rarely works and often results in unfair sentences. Not everyone should be treated equally when it comes to crimes like this. Its that simple. Not a fair change in the law.

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