Rep. DeLuca Addresses Gun Violence with Newly Introduced Legislation

Rep. DeLuca Addresses Gun Violence with Newly Introduced Legislation
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Rep. DeLuca Addresses Gun Violence with Newly Introduced Legislation (Chicago Heights, IL) — State Representative Anthony DeLuca (D-Chicago Heights) called on leaders to  urge support for legislation that would help curb gun offenses. Concerned that too many criminals are recklessly endangering communities with repeat offenses, Representative DeLuca has put forth a plan to re-implement expanded mandatory minimum sentences for repeat gun offenders, as well as require juvenile repeat firearm offenders to participate in social service programs.

According to House Bill 4453, the legislation aims to amend the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 and provides that if a minor (1) has previously been placed on probation for an offense that involves the possession or discharge of a firearm not causing any injury; and (2) is convicted of a subsequent offense involving the possession or discharge of a firearm not causing any injury, then the court shall require the minor to participate in social service programs offered through juvenile probation and comply with referral recommendations for no less than 3 months. A failure to satisfactorily complete the program will result in commitment of the minor to the Department of Juvenile Justice to complete the recommended services.Any subsequent conviction of firearm use causing injury or death will result in a commitment to the Department of Juvenile Justice with the Department providing services, including, but not limited to, education, mental health services, drug treatment, and mentoring.

“Too many offenders are acting brazenly, carelessly putting lives at risk,” DeLuca said. “If we want to tackle the issue of gun crime effectively, we need to have strong consequences in place. Particularly for younger individuals, we need to help them pursue a better path forward.”

Several area chiefs of police and other law enforcement command staff were present at the event, which was held at Prairie State College in DeLuca’s hometown of Chicago Heights. Speaking alongside Rep. DeLuca was Bishop Ronnie White, who serves as a Chaplain at several area police departments and is a Prairie State College Board Member, said that the legislation would help create a safer environment with the early intervention it would provide.

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Lisa Daniels, founder of the the Darren B. Easterling Center for Restorative Practices, addressed the room, saying that her son Darren was killed when he participated in a robbery in 2012. She stated that her son had other run-ins with the law before his death, and although she mourns him, she also hold him accountable for his actions. She said that if legislation similar to this one were available while he was still alive, his future might have been different.

“I’m committed to addressing public safety comprehensively,” DeLuca said. “This isn’t a static issue, which is why I continue to regularly engage our local law enforcement and listen to their recommendations. Let’s take real action to make our communities safer.”

Rep. DeLuca Addresses Gun Violence with Newly Introduced Legislation

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