Senator Mark Kirk talks gun control during stop at CIRA

By Beau Ebenezer

October 23, 2013 Updated Oct 24, 2013 at 10:32 AM CDT

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. -- U.S. Senator Mark Kirk made a stop in Bloomington Wednesday afternoon to tour the Central Illinois Regional Airport.

Senator Kirk helped pass legislation in May which allowed the Federal Aviation Administration to continue funding the airport's control towers.

Wednesday, during a congressional break, the senator toured the airport.

He spoke on his support for federal dollars towards anti-gang efforts in Illinois.

"I have been at the federal level, and I've been lining up $19.5 million to break the back of the gangster disciples of Chicago," Kirk said. "I would just say to the state legislature that the coming vote on mandatory minimums for gun crimes is the anti-gang vote of the year. If you are worried about gang violence in Illinois, you should back that."

The bill calls for more time behind bars for possessing illegal weapons and increases penalties for unlawful use of weapons.

It would also make probation less likely, imposing minimum prison sentences of 3 years in many cases.

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