Saturday, April 9, 2022


Springfield, Ill. – Gun Violence Prevention PAC President and CEO Kathleen Sances issued the following statement in response to the passage of new legislation (HB 4383, SA 2) that will make ghost guns illegal in Illinois:

“Gun violence continues to pose a significant threat to people across Illinois, which is why I commend the efforts of the Illinois General Assembly today, as they took action to make ghost guns illegal. This legislation provides law enforcement with another tool to keep these dangerous weapons off our streets and makes our communities and neighborhoods safer.

“Ghost guns help dangerous individuals work around all of the significant gun control policies and regulations that we’ve fought so hard to put in place, which puts lives directly in the hands of violent actors. But now, thanks to all of the champions who stood up against the corporate gun lobby that puts profit over lives, we are one step closer to stopping gun violence in Illinois.

“I want to thank Representative Buckner, Speaker Welch, Senator Collins, and President Harmon for standing up and rejecting violence. Until our communities are safe for everyone — especially those that have been plagued by violence for decades due to severe disinvestment in critical programs and services that are proven to end violence — we will keep fighting to end gun violence, no matter what.”

The legislation now heads to the Governor’s desk. Illinois would become the twelfth state to enact a law to protect residents from ghost guns. The newly passed legislation protects Illinoisans by:

Immediately prohibiting the sale of unserialized gun parts that can be turned into guns.

  • Existing unserialized gun parts must be serialized in 6 months.
  • Existing unserialized guns must be serialized in 6 months.

Requiring serial numbers on guns manufactured with a 3D printer.

  • Existing 3D-printed guns must be serialized in 1 month.
  • Going forward, 3D-printed guns must be serialized during the manufacturing process.

Creating standards for serialization for existing unserialized firearms at federally licensed firearms dealers and other federal licensees authorized to imprint serial numbers.

  • Unique serial numbers will be applied to firearms.
  • Licensees must keep records outlining pertinent details of the serialized firearm.
As the Lake County State’s Attorney, I am honored and humbled every day to lead the fight against crime, and to strive to ensure equal and just treatment under the law. I have been an attorney for twenty-two years – and each of those years has made me a stronger and smarter advocate for people, for ideas, and for the principles that unite us all.

I am so proud to lead an office of 140 dedicated colleagues who serve the public by prosecuting crime, advocating for victims, and planning crime prevention programs. I am also proud to work with hundreds of Lake County police officers on a daily basis to connect with every community and to develop comprehensive, holistic plans to respond to the mental health and economic crisis that arose from the COVID-19 pandemic.

On one particular day, July 4, 2022, I was saddened, inspired, and motivated by the bravery of so many people. We will always stand with the victims and honor the police and other first responders who ran toward the danger. Just as so many heroes that day thought only of themselves, I also witnessed the prosecutors in my office answer the call to serve survivors and their community – even on one of its darkest days.

Every moment that I have been your legal representative, I have worked tirelessly to oversee prosecutions and to implement policies that make my family and my neighbors safer in the short term and in the long term. That is the job of the State’s Attorney: to prosecute, to innovate, and to strategically plan.

I was raised in a small town. My parents are teachers, and from them, I learned that everyone must be treated equally and that America’s sacred mission is to provide a political, economic, and legal system that allows anyone to prosper regardless of the circumstances of their birth. After graduating from Knox College and the University of Chicago Law School, I spent two years at a first-rate civil law firm in Chicago where I learned that hard work and attention to detail on every case mean the difference between success and failure.

With my wonderful wife Stephanie, I am raising my two sons, Sam and Teddy, in Lake County. Nothing is more important to me than my family’s safety and I bring that passion and determination to protect all families with me to work every day.

I joined the Lake County Public Defender’s Office in 2003 and started my own law firm in 2009. From 2003 until 2020, I watched the Lake County legal system fail to prioritize violent crime, prevent wrongful prosecutions, or address racial disparities.

So, in 2019, I decided to run for State’s Attorney so that I could serve our community by improving a local legal system that cared more about covering up its mistakes and biases than uncovering new and innovative ways to help people.

I won the 2020 election, and became the first Democrat to hold this position in 40 years. Bringing in a new party wasn’t as important as ending 40 years of one mindset that had forgotten the people and that had failed to act urgently to develop new strategic plans to prevent crime while also ensuring that each prosecution is smart, moral, and just.

We have followed through on our promises. We have built the first-ever violent crimes unit, increased prosecutors in our domestic violence division, and vastly upgraded our cyber lab. Now, we have top-notch software and personnel to finally keep up with those who would exploit others.

We have been awarded a large federal grant to bring the first ever Human Trafficking Task Force to Lake County. We have deepened our investment in people by bringing in more victim specialists and raising the salaries of many of our prosecutors.

But the work goes on. We must expand our prevention efforts that are starting with the Gun Violence Prevention Initiative launched in 2022. And we know that the opioid crisis touches thousands of lives throughout this country.

I am proud to serve on the Executive Board of the Lake County Opioid Initiative which has been working tirelessly since its founding in 2012 to reverse a devastating trend of increased overdoses. In 2022, our office was part of a national settlement against opioid manufacturers and distributors.

As an attorney of 22 years, I have committed my life to helping people, and I have conducted over 70 jury trials in Lake County, and handled appeals that have culminated in over 20 oral arguments before the appellate court and Supreme Court of Illinois.

I see my time in this office as the next phase of helping a community that I love and where I have chosen to raise my family. In my first term, we have made Lake County safer and fairer through just prosecutions, constitutional policing, and innovative crime prevention policies.