Public Safety is one of the most important issues facing the 14th District. My time in the State’s Attorney’s office taught me that the traditional forms of law enforcement and sentencing are not enough. Laws can only work as well as the community that enforces them. Our community needs to be involved to create alternative, holistic solutions to crime and public safety issues.
Operating under a deadline imposed by a federal appeals court, the legislature was required to pass a law regulating the concealed carry of firearms. We passed HB183 (Senate Amendment 5), which sets guidelines to allow for concealed carry. While the bill contains some components that will protect public safety, I am troubled by the failure to prohibit weapons in locations including our lakefront beaches and establishments that serve alcohol. I am also disappointed in the absolute preemption of all local rules, including Chicago’s important registration requirements. Local governments need to have greater flexibility due to the diverse nature of our state and the unique needs of different communities. I also believe that local law enforcement needs to have a greater say in the permitting process. While this bill passed and is awaiting the governor’s signature, I voted against it.
Two important gun control measures were successful that will help to address the issue of straw purchasers who purchase weapons on behalf of others who are not legally able to do so. Individuals involved in the private sale of firearms will be required to contact the state police to determine the valid status of a purchasers FOID card, and individuals will be required to report of lost and stolen firearms. These important requirements will provide a legal basis for punishment for individuals who purchase firearms and give them to those who are ineligible for firearm ownership.