Alton, IL

Rauner Wants New Gun Laws, Death Penalty's Return

Story by WBGZ Radio

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is using his veto pen to ask lawmakers for a handful of tougher gun laws and for the state to once again sentence people to death. 

Rauner used his veto pen to change a proposal that would have created a 72-hour waiting period for assault rifle purchases.

The governor on Monday said that he wants a 72-hour waiting period for all gun purchases, a ban on bump stocks and trigger cranks. And for Illinois to once again use the death penalty against mass murderers and cop killers. 

"Individuals who choose to murder a law enforcement officer deserve to have their life taken," the governor said in Chicago. "They deserve that."

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Rauner is asking for a new category called "death penalty murder" that would also allow prosecutors to ask for a death sentence for anyone who kills two or more people. The governor said he wants the burden of proof for a death penalty case to be proof "beyond all doubt" rather than "beyond reasonable doubt."

He is also asking lawmakers to agree to give judges the ability to authorize restraining orders to disarm dangerous people. But the governor also wants judges to explain, on the record, why they allow for plea bargains or reduced changes in gun cases. The governor's proposal also includes a request for more money to hire local mental health workers to free up police officers, deputies, and jail guards.

"This is a comprehensive package. It is a thoughtful package. It is good policy," Rauner said. "Everyone of these six points will significantly improve the safety of the people of Illinois."

But it is unlikely to happen. The Illinois House has traditionally fought back against all governors who use their veto pen to try to create new law. 

If the House votes down the governor's changes this time, the 72-hour rifle cooling off period, as well as the governor's proposed changes, will all die at the statehouse.

(Copyright WBGZ Radio /


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