Ward Room
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Quinn Signs Laws Aimed at Fighting Gang Crime

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“All Illinois residents have the right to be safe in their homes, schools and on our streets," Gov. Pat Quinn said as he signed two bills to combat gang-related crime.

Gov. Pat Quinn has signed two laws aimed at combating gang-related crime.

One requires school officials, such as principals, to report illegal weapons and gang activity to police. It also requires authorities to let principals know when a student is held for gang activity. The law takes effect next year.

“All Illinois residents have the right to be safe in their homes, schools and on our streets," Quinn said. “These new laws give us more tools to fight gang violence, crack down on the criminals and protect those who are doing the right thing for public safety."

Another bill establishes a Crime Witness Protection Program for people who help prosecute gang crimes. The law takes effect immediately and allows counties to be reimbursed for victims' and witnesses' short term living costs, among other things.

Quinn signed the laws Monday. He also used the event to drum up support for his proposed changes to a concealed carry law. Lawmakers will be in Springfield Tuesday.

The Chicago Democrat has spent days making appearances talking up his sweeping changes to a bill that'd make Illinois the last state to allow concealed weapons.

But lawmakers are expected to override Quinn's changes when they meet Tuesday in Springfield. The bill's sponsor, among others, says the original measure came out of months of negotiations.

Quinn wouldn't say if he has the votes, but says he's working on it. He says the bill was influenced heavily by the National Rifle Association.

He spoke to reporters Monday in Chicago after signing legislation dealing with gang crimes.

Illinois has until Tuesday to legalize concealed carry after a federal appeals court ruled the state's ban unconstitutional.

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