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Illinois Felons with Guns Face New Penalities

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CHICAGO (AP) __ Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation increasing penalties for convicted felons who are found carrying guns.  Under the law, signed Tuesday, felons convicted of unlawful use or possession of a weapon face an additional two to 10 years behind bars.  Additional violations by felons caught with guns while on parole or supervised release will carry a sentence of three to 14 years in prison.

The measure was sponsored by Sen. Tony Munoz of Chicago and Rep Michael Zalewski of Summit, both Democrats, in response to the shooting death of Chicago Police Officer Thomas Wortham. He was killed outside his home during an attempted robbery last year.

Suspects in his death had previous gun charge convictions.  In signing the bill, Quinn said the law will ensure safer neighborhoods for families across Illinois.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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