Thanks to your advocacy, SB 1342 was not called for a vote on December 3, 2013 when the Illinois General Assembly convened in Springfield for a one-day special session. This is a win! SB 1342 (previously HB 2265) would have imposed mandatory sentences for possessing an unloaded gun without a valid FOID (Firearms Owner Identification) card.
We oppose mandatory minimums because decades of research show that mandatory minimums do not deter crime or make our communities safer. Instead, they increase the likelihood of recidivism and contribute to making some offenders even more dangerous and unemployable upon release. Mandatory minimums disproportionately impact people of color and take away a judge’s ability to weigh the facts of a case and give an appropriate sentence.
Thank you for standing up against mandatory minimums and contacting your state legislators! Your advocacy efforts helped to stall this bill.
It is important to note that SB 1342 is stalled, but not dead. It could be called for a vote again when the General Assembly re-convenes in January 2014. Additional crime bills are also being introduced. Stay tuned for advocacy alerts to take action.
God calls us to work for a justice system in which people are treated fairly and the punishment is in proportion to the crime. We look forward to working with you in the New Year on a just, comprehensive approach to stopping violence and reforming Illinois’ harsh sentencing policies.