SB 337 Signed Into Law!

Sixteen years ago, a new state senator was sworn into office, and he made it a priority to keep our children, families and communities safe from gun violence. That year, he filed a bill to license Illinois gun dealers in order to hold corrupt dealers accountable and curb the flow of illegal guns into our communities. Year after year, crime guns sourced back to Illinois gun shops ended up in the hands of people seeking to do harm, and our children and families paid the tragic price.

Despite many obstacles, including outrageous intimidation by the gun lobby, he continued to file the bill each year. That state senator was Senator Don Harmon, and today, he watched Governor JB Pritzker sign into law SB 337, the Combating Illegal Gun Trafficking Act, as one of his first official acts in office. With that signature, families of victims killed by illegally obtained guns can find peace of mind knowing that lives will be saved by SB 337 becoming the law of the land in Illinois.


We are thrilled that Governor Pritzker fulfilled his promise to protect children and families in Illinois from gun violence by signing SB 337 into law. Members of the Illinois Gun Violence Prevention Coalition, especially the parents who have found the strength to turn their unimaginable grief into action, worked tirelessly to fight for its passage, and we are grateful to our legislators from both sides of the aisle who came together in support of this effort, most notably our bill sponsors Sen. Don Harmon and State Representative Kathleen Willis.


In 2015, as a result of the increasing number of people being killed by gun violence, G-PAC and our partner Giffords joined forces with a broad, statewide, bi-partisan coalition of organizations, advocates and elected officials around a common goal: to help rid Illinois of hundreds of illegal guns that end up on our streets each year and in the hands of those looking to do harm. Today, survivors and advocates filled the room to see the the governor take action to stop access to those illegal guns.

Let’s take a minute today to let this victory for safer communities sink in and to thank those who made it happen. Thank you. You made the calls, you wrote the emails, you went to visit your lawmakers and gratefully, you supplied the financial resources to support this 3 year campaign. You stayed in the game and kept your eye on the prize, and Illinois families will be safer because you did.

Click here to watch video and send a thank you note to Governor Pritzker.

There is more work to do to to reduce gun violence in Illinois, and we will be here to take the lead.

We’ll talk soon.

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.