New gun proposal less harsh for 1st offense

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Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - An Illinois House member is tweaking anti-gun legislation.
   
Rep. Michael Zalewski proposed Monday that someone with a loaded, accessible gun and no license be sentenced to one to three years for a first offense.
   
Gang members or felons who break the gun law would serve three to 10 years.
   
But those convicted would serve 85 percent of their sentences instead of the 50 percent now required.
   
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is pushing the initiative to deal with gun violence in his city.
   
A previous version of the legislation required longer mandatory prison time for gun offenses. But the National Rifle Association fears it would inadvertently snag law-abiding gun owners.
   
A spokesman says Zalewski hopes the bill can get a committee hearing Tuesday.

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