In 1999, State Senator Barack Obama voted “present” on a bill that would require adult prosecution for discharging a gun in or near a school.
That legislation came as a response to the tragic Columbine High School shooting that year.
SB 759 provided that anyone 15 years of age or older charged with aggravated battery with a weapon in school or within 1,000 feet of a school would be charged as an adult.
It passed the Illinois State Senate in a 52-1 vote, with 5 members voting present — including Obama.
That vote followed a trend for the young lawmaker, whose controversial votes on crime legislation often raised eyebrows.
A Chicago Tribune editorial even accused Obama of being a “gutless sheep” for missing a vote on crime legislation in late 1999.