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March 25, 1999


SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced that his plan to stop gun violence was passed unanimously by the full Senate and now moves on for consideration by the Illinois House.

"The passage of '15-20-Life' will make Illinois' violent crime laws among the toughest in the nation," Ryan said. "This law will not infringe on the rights of responsible gun owners; instead it will tell the criminal element in this state that gun violence will not be tolerated."

Ryan's "15-20-Life" proposal will create tougher sentencing enhancements for criminals who threaten their victims with guns.

Senate Bill 1112 amends the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 and the Unified Code of Corrections and calls for the following additional penalties to be added after the conviction for certain felony crimes: first degree murder, predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, aggravated criminal sexual assault, criminal sexual assault, aggravated kidnapping, heinous battery, home invasion, armed robbery, aggravated vehicular hijacking and various other drug offenses:

  • The felon will receive an additional 15 years in prison if they are in possession of a gun while committing a felony crime.

  • If the felon is armed and intentionally discharges the weapon, they will receive an additional 20 years.

  • If the felon is armed, intentionally discharges the weapon and causes great bodily harm or the death of any person, they will receive an additional 25 years to life.

    Ryan's 15-20-Life law is modeled after a California law. Since the passage of the California law, the city of Fresno reported a nearly 40 percent reduction in firearm violence.

    The legislation was sponsored by Senators Kirk Dillard, R-Hinsdale; Carl E. Hawkinson, R-Galesburg; Christine Radogno, R-La Grange; Wendell E. Jones, R-Palatine; David Sullivan, R-Park Ridge; Laura Kent Donahue, R-Quincy; Ed Petka, R-Plainfield; James "Pate" Philip, R-Wood Dale and Kathleen K. Parker, R-Northbrook.

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