Wild, Wild West

It’s A Brand New World

There’s a new administration coming to town and if we let our guard down, our communities could look like the wild, wild west. Here’s what’s in store:


The federal government has strictly limited the sale of firearm silencers since 1934. Silencers are the perfect accessory for a criminal who wants to conceal a crime. They are a threat to public safety and put bystanders and law enforcement at risk. If restrictions are lifted, it will be a matter of time before they make their way into the illegal market. Removing restrictions on the sale of silencers is a gun lobby priority at the national and state and levels.

Washington, D.C.:
Gun lobby legislators are pushing HR 367, a bill lifting restrictions on the sale of firearm silencers at the federal level. Donald Trump Jr. is publically supporting this move that will pour buckets of money into gun manufacturers’ bank accounts.  Ironically, the bill is called the Hearing Protection Act and is being framed as a public health issue. (SMH – shaking my head.)

During the lame duck session of the 99th General Assembly, the gun lobby and their bosses descended on Springfield in hopes of passing a bill allowing silencers on all guns in Illinois. G-PAC and Illinois Gun Violence Prevention Coalition members were on hand to play defense and successfully prevented passage of the bill. Thank you to everyone who made a call, sent an email or made an office or Springfiled visit. You made a BIG difference.

The battle continues. The bill has been renumbered and filed in the new General Assembly as SB 50. The chief co-sponsors are William Haine, SD 56 and Neil Anderson, SD 36. Click on their names to contact them. We will keep you updated on the bill status and the elected officials who support and oppose this dangerous legislation. With the threat of the federal roll back on restrictions, it is critical we stop this legislation at the state level.


The incoming administration has made promises to 1) eliminate gun free zones everywhere and 2) enforce mandated reciprocity nationwide for conceal and carry holders. This means people from states where permits are not required to conceal and carry will be allowed to enter Illinois with their concealed loaded handguns. The following Illinois representatives have sponsored HR 38, the Conceal Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017: Adam Kinzinger, CD 16, John Shimkus, CD 15, Mike Bost, CD 12, Rodney Davis, CD 13 and Randy Hultgren, CD 14. You can find their phone numbers here.

Screen_Shot_2017-01-18_at_10.31.35_AM.png  CHICAGO WOMEN’S MARCH

If you are planning on attending the march this Saturday in Chicago, you can meet up with our friends and allies of the Illinois Gun Violence Prevention Coalition who will be united in their fight against unregulated silencers, gun free zones and mandated conceal and carry reciprocity. Email me for the meet up location at kathleen@gpacillinois.com.


Last night, President-Elect Trump’s Education Secretary nominee, Betsy DeVos testified guns in schools may be necessary to protect students from grizzly bears. I can’t make this up. Read it here.


We have our work cut out for us but we never back down from a fight to save a life. The battle for safe communities is at the state level now more than ever. You can count on us to hold our elected officials accountable to support responsible gun safety legislation.

See you Saturday. Please donate here to keep us working.

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.