The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce stands in support of SB 1722, the Safe Neighborhoods Reform Act, and the efforts of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Superintendent Eddie Johnson to hold those driving violence in Chicago accountable in the criminal justice system. With a focus upon high-risk, repeat offenders, this legislation provides stricter sentencing guidelines for certain gun crimes in an effort to protect our residents and support the well-being of our communities.

This legislation passed the Senate by a vote of 35-9-4 on April 6th, and is sponsored by Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) and Senator Tony Munoz (D-Chicago); the measure is sponsored by House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Burr Ridge) and is waiting for action in the House.

“Our city is in need of a solution to the gun violence that has plagued our city. As we all know, gun violence has taken a toll on our communities, families, and children. We urge lawmakers to take swift action that brings about tougher penalties for repeat gun offenders that will serve as part of the solution to our city’s complex gun violence problem,” said Theresa E. Mintle, president & CEO of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce.

As recent sentencing data shows, the current penalties imposed for gun offenses do not adequately reflect the risk that illegal gun possession poses to the public safety.  As a result, convicted felons and parolees continue to freely carry firearms on Chicago’s streets, increasing the likelihood that a conflict will turn lethal due to the presence of a readily available firearm.  This bill would create stricter penalties for these offenders, while having no impact on those who own and carry guns legally. 

“Repeat gun offenders are driving the violence in Chicago. We know who they are, we know where they live, and we know the kind of destruction they can have on communities. The Chicago Police Department is working hard to keep them off this street, but we need help from the justice system to hold them accountable for their actions,” said Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson. “With this legislation, we can hold these individuals accountable, deter potential offenders from committing crimes, and keep more residents safe and free from gun violence.”

The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce applauds Senator Raoul and Senator Munoz as well as House Republican Leader Durkin for sponsoring this important legislation and encourages House members to pass this bill in order to combat gun violence in Chicago. 

About the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce 

The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce represents over 1,000 member companies, their 400,000 employees, and over $24 billion in revenue. We combine the power of our membership with our legacy of leadership and business advocacy to drive a dynamic economy. We focus on delivering value for our members, making Chicagoland a world-class place to live and work. Visit