With aims to curb gun violence, Gov. Pat Quinn on Tuesday signed a measure mandating automatic jail time to convicted felons who possess firearms.
The old gun law gave convicted felons carrying guns two to five years in jail or probation. Under the new law, violators will be given two to 10 years behind bars, with no option for parole. Jail time also increases to three to 14 years for each additional violation or for felons who are caught with guns while on parole or supervised release.
The measure follows the tragic shooting and death of Chicago Police Officer Thomas Wortham, an Iraq War veteran who was killed outside of his home during an attempting robbery last year following his return from a second tour of duty.
Some of the suspects in the shooting were felons convicted of gun charges.
“Officer Wortham was a true hero who lost his life to senseless violence,” Gov. Quinn said. “No family should lose a loved one to gun violence, and this law will help us ensure safer neighborhoods for families across Illinois."
The law will go into effect on Jan. 1.