Confession time, folks: I’ve got a nasty cold and my head might not be 100% in the game today. Is that the reason I’m having a hard time understanding why the NRA is opposing a bill that seems fairly narrowly targeted at gang-bangers?
The bill, sponsored by Democratic state Rep. Mike Zalewski, calls for more time behind bars for possessing illegal weapons. It increases penalties for unlawful use of weapons, including by felons or gang members. It would make probation less likely, imposing minimum prison sentences of three years in many cases. It would also require that offenders serve at least 85 percent of their sentences, up from 50 percent.
The NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action wrote in a website post that the bill will jeopardize concealed carry in Illinois by imposing tough penalties for individuals who carry a firearm without a concealed-carry permit or firearm owner’s identification card.
“This specific provision incorrectly targets otherwise law-abiding citizens, rather than deterring violent criminals with harsher penalties,” the group said in an Oct. 10 statement.
I thought that one of the benefits of concealed carry laws was that so you could justify jacking up penalties on the professional criminal element to keep them in prison longer.
What am I missing?