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Illinois Lawmaker Aims to End Acid Attacks with New Registry

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Two glass containers full of sulfuric acid left 28-year-old Karli Butler "financially, emotionally and, you know, physically devastated," the Chicago resident told an Illinois House committee today. Butler testified on behalf of a bill that would require individuals buying products containing corrosive or caustic acid, like the materials used in her attack, to log their names on a registry.

State Rep. Susana Mendoza, D-Chicago, proposed the legislation to help prevent future attacks by making individuals in the check-out line think twice before buying caustic materials, and carrying out violent attacks.

Tanya Triche, an attorney with the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, spoke in opposition to the measure.

"This is not going to prevent another attack from happening to someone else," Triche said.

She carried a box full of common household products -- laundry detergent, nail polish remover and tire cleaner -- that customers would have to show identification to buy, under the proposal.

Mendoza agreed that the list needed to be more carefully tailored to pare down the products included. She vowed to continue working on changes with opponents of the bill.

For Butler, it has been a "long, long journey" but, she thinks lobbying for the legislation is worth the time and effort so that future attacks can possibly be prevented.

Butler was attacked in once in a parking garage by three men and a second time by two women. Both attacks took place in residential neighborhoods. One woman was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Butler, who endured third-degree burns, said her damage is "a life sentence."

The legislation (HB2193) passed out of committee today.


LINK TO FACEBOOK GROUP for Acid Attach Survivors, created by Karli Butler.