SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. John D’Amico, D-Chicago, backed a proposal to crack down on criminals who attack places of worship.
“With the unfathomable rise in attacks against religious worshippers, we must stand up for people’s right to worship without fear,” said D’Amico. “We need to crack down on those who commit such acts of violence and religious persecution.”
D’Amico voted to pass House Bill 38, which strengthens penalties for committing an assault or battery in a place of worship by making such crimes a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. The measure also toughens penalties for unlawful use of a firearm when used against people praying or engaged in religious activity at a house of worship. Additionally, the bill makes attacks in a place of worship an aggravated sentencing factor for a murder that occurs during religious activities at a church, synagogue, mosque or temple.
“This commonsense bill strengthens our ability to punish violent criminals who attack churches, mosques, synagogues, and temples,” said D’Amico. “Illinois will not stand for horrifying attacks against people in their houses of worship and as legislators, we must ensure that people are able to worship free of persecution.”