Legislation targets bomb makers

2013-07-29T19:00:00Z 2013-07-29T23:48:11Z Legislation targets bomb makersKurt Erickson Lee Springfield Bureau nwitimes.com
July 29, 2013 7:00 pm  • 

SPRINGFIELD | A coalition of law enforcement groups is looking to the Illinois General Assembly to help crack down on people who make homemade bombs.

Under legislation filed earlier this month, anyone who possesses material that could be used to manufacture a bomb could face a felony conviction carrying a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.

A similar penalty would be on tap for anyone caught manufacturing, transporting, distributing, possessing or using a fire bomb or homemade explosive device.

State Rep. Adam Brown, R-Champaign, said police groups approached him with the idea, which they are hoping to implement throughout the nation.

Brown said the notorious Christmas Day 2009 “underwear bomber” is an example of what the law could target. Currently, depending on the circumstances, it would not be illegal to have some of the materials used by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab in his failed attempt to blow up an airplane.

“It’s been very difficult for law enforcement to crack down on it,” Brown said. “These guys are deeply concerned about it.”

If the measure is assigned to a legislative committee, Brown said he hopes to have a demonstration for members. In other states, bomb experts have shown lawmakers how little explosive material it can take to severely damage a school bus.

The measure could be debated during the fall veto session or in the spring legislative session that begins in January.

The legislation is House Bill 3647.

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