Ill. lawmaker proposes increase in gun penalties

SPRINGFIELD – An Illinois lawmaker wants to increase penalties for gun owners who illegally carry firearms into schools.

State Rep. Deborah Conroy is introducing a proposal that would make carrying guns into Illinois schools a felony. That includes preschools up to colleges and universities. Currently, first and second-time offenders are charged with a misdemeanor.

Another measure introduced by the Democrat from Villa Park increases fines for carrying guns into prohibited places from $150 to $500. Fines currently go to a state mental health fund.

Conroy says this proposal is about providing more money to cover mental health services. She says the current amount is too low.

The bill is in a House committee with other proposals changing the concealed carry law passed last year.

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The bills are HB3669 and HB3675.