GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION – AN UPDATE
By Joanna Williams
(Thanks to Sara Knizhnik for her outstanding presentation at our May Meeting for much of the information in this article).
- Since losing the majority in the US House, no Gun Safety Bills have been signed into law. However, an Assault Weapons Ban was introduced in the current Congress with over 200 sponsors, including freshmen Congressional Reps Nikki Budzinski (IL 13th) and Eric Sorensen (IL 17th). ACTION: Thank Reps Budzinski and Sorensen for their courageous support for the bill and urge our Senators Durbin and Duckworth to co-sponsor the bill in the Senate.
- President Biden has issued a comprehensive Executive Order with the goal of increasing background checks, raising the awareness of Red Flag laws, reporting on marketing guns to minors and other actions he is able to take without Congressional legislation.
- Illinois lawmakers are considering several new laws restricting the possession and marketing of firearms (while the state and federal courts are considering the constitutionality of the Assault Weapons Ban passed in January.)
- HB 676: “Gun Safety Mini Omnibus” – Requires people subject to a domestic violence order of protection to surrender their weapons to a local law enforcement agency. Creates a task force to study the feasibility of requiring gun owners to carry liability insurance. Passed 70-36, sent to the IL Senate.
- HB 218: Designed to hold gun dealers and manufacturers civilly liable for marketing to people under 18, supporting unlawful military activity and selling to “straw purchasers”, among other activities. The bill would allow the state to get around the law that protects gun manufacturers from being sued when their products are used in a crime (“PLCAA”). Passed by the House.
- SB 1521 Ethan’s Law: (Named for Ethan Song, a 15 year old teen, who was tragically killed in 2018 by an unsecured firearm in a neighbor’s home). Requires safe storage when a minor or person ineligible to possess a firearm could gain access to a firearm in a residence without permission. Introduced in the IL Senate in January but failed to pass out of committee. ACTION: urge your your state Representative and state Senator to support the bill.
- In April the Lake County Board approved unanimously a resolution that supports Ethan’s Law and safe storage of firearms.
- Just last week, the DuPage County Board, also unanimously, approved a similar resolution supporting Ethan’s law and safe storage. ACTION: thank your Board Member for their support!