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December 22, 1999

Statement Of Governor George H. Ryan

KANKAKEE -- I want to express my concern for Kankakee County Sheriff's Sgt. Michael Raymond, who was shot by an escaping prisoner today. Lura Lynn and I will keep him and his family in our thoughts and pray for his swift recovery.

The Illinois State Police are assisting in the manhunt for this gunman, who is now on the loose with a firearm.

This shows that gun violence has no boundaries. It can and does happen anywhere, anytime, even as families prepare for Christmas, even in the Governor's hometown.

That is why I have been fighting so hard for passage of the Safe Neighborhoods Act. While the details of this incident are still under investigation, we know the alleged assailant, once caught, will not face the same stiff penalties for shooting a law enforcement officer as those provided under the Safe Neighborhoods Act that the Senate failed to reinstate. We know that individuals like this are the people we are trying to target with the felony unlawful use of weapon provision.

We must not retreat in the war on gun violence. I hope next week, the Senate will take up the Safe Neighborhoods Act with the felony unlawful use of weapon provision and pass it.


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