A plan to increase prison time for gun crimes has hit a brick wall in the Illinois Capitol. The Black Caucus used a parliamentary procedure to block the bill. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been pushing for mandatory minimums prison sentences for certain gun crimes. His allies negotiated with the National Rifle Association to overcome objections that law-abiding gun owners could be caught up in the plan. But, Rep. Ken Dunkin, a Democrat from Chicago, filed a routine request for how much the legislation would cost in terms of new prisoners. The state Department of Corrections did not respond by the time the legislation came up, so the House adjourned without taking action.
"The mayor of the city of Chicago needs to work with all of us. He needs to work with the largest constituency in his city as well as us down here."
Dunkin says if there is more investment in violence prevention programs, his members could be persuaded to support the higher minimum prison sentences. Others say increasing prison time does not actually do anything to deter crime and more police would be a better solution.
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