Andrew Chesney


Andrew Chesney


New Threats to Public Safety

The same Chicago Democrat who brought us the SAFE-T Act (House Bill 3653) has filed new legislation that would further threaten public safety and impede law enforcement efforts to keep our communities safe.

As you may recall, the so-called SAFE-T Act was pushed through in the middle of the night when fewer eyes were following the legislature’s action. As I have stated many times, this law does nothing to improve safety in our communities. It heaped a slew of new mandates on police officers regarding how and when they can pursue suspected criminals and eliminated our system of cash bail so many criminals are now back on the streets within hours of an arrest. It has led droves of police officers to leave the profession and has overloaded our courts with appeals hearings for those locked up pending trial under the old system. The bill was so bad it has already been modified three different times to address glaring problems.

This lawmaker was also the Chief Co-Sponsor of the Assault Weapons Ban, House Bill 5522. While criminals continue to get their guns illegally through straw purchases and back-alley deals, this law requires those who owned so-called assault weapons and certain magazines before the law’s effective date to register them with the Illinois State Police (ISP). Those who fail to do so are guilty of crimes ranging from misdemeanors to felonies. It also completely bans manufacturing and selling more than 200 types of firearms.

Like the SAFE-T Act, the “assault weapons” ban does nothing to make our communities safer. This law goes after the wrong people. Lawful people are not the ones engaging in mass shootings, and the criminals who are certainly aren’t following our laws. I doubt criminals are filing the required affidavit so their guns can be tracked.

On January 29, that same legislator filed legislation giving the SAFE-T Act and the Assault Weapons Ban a run for their money. House Bill 4603 would prohibit police from pulling motorists over or issuing citations for a variety of infractions, including the failure to display license plates or registration stickers, having an expired registration sticker, speeding (except in extreme cases), improper lane usage, failing to comply with head/tail light requirements, failing to wear a seat belt, or having excessive tint on windows, defective mirrors, an obstructed windshield, defective windshield wipers or bumpers, or excessive exhaust fumes.

Even worse, the bill states that if an officer does pull over a car for any of the above infractions, anything they find in the vehicle cannot be used against the driver in any trial, hearing, or other court proceeding. That’s right. If an officer finds drugs or illegal guns in the car they pull over for most traffic offenses, those items would be inadmissible in court.

As you can imagine, pushback on this legislation has been immediate and severe. Among those pushing back is the ISP. On February 1, ISP took to Twitter (X) and posted that on January 31, officers stopped a semi for improper lane usage and other minor traffic offenses and found a girl in the semi that was suspected of being trafficked. That routine traffic stop likely saved that girl.

In response to the massive pushback, the bill sponsor said he would not call his bill. It remains active, however, so the sponsor could change his mind at any time and begin moving this bill immediately.

At what point will those who continually send Democrats to Springfield to represent them realize that the bills being filed by their progressive leaders are hurting, not helping our communities? At what point will they demand strengthened penalties for those who commit violent crimes so we can get these criminals off the streets?

Until this happens, legislators will continue to see bills that are not in the best interest of everyday Illinoisans who deserve to live and work in safe neighborhoods. I will continue to oppose these bills and invite all other lawmakers to join me in ending this nonsense.

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