Rockford’s gun violence crisis fueled by illegal guns continued on Christmas weekend

Elected officials must take action now to keep our children, families and communities safe from gun violence

ROCKFORD, December 31, 2020 – This Holiday weekend, Illinoisans watched in all too familiar heartbreak as more lives were lost to gun violence in Rockford. 2020 has been the most violent year in Rockford’s history and the six people shot at Don Carter Lanes in Rockford were six more reasons why our elected officials must act now to pass life-saving gun laws. 

“If we want to stop this horrible cycle of gun violence, we must get illegal guns off the street. This year, 35 people have been killed in Rockford, breaking the previous record of 31 in 1996, and yet we see no action from our elected officials to stop the flow of guns into communities. That is why today I, in the strongest terms, implore the Illinois State Senate and Rockford Senator Steve Stadelman to act to save lives from gun violence by passing SB1966 the BIO (Block Illegal Ownership) bill in the lame duck session,” said Kathleen Sances, President and CEO of the Gun Violence Prevention Action Committee. 

The BIO Bill, SB 1966, closes loopholes in the FOID system to ensure that people with violent criminal histories, who are prohibited from gun possession, are not able to evade the law and arm themselves.

Survivor and GPEC/ICHV Executive Director Kina Collins issued the following statement about the need to lift up survivors and all those impacted by Rockford’s gun violence crisis:

“ My heart is broken as I think about all of the victims and families impacted by the Rockford mass shooting this week. As a survivor I know how frustrating it can be to only receive “thoughts and prayers” from leadership in pivotal moments where we need policy and implementation instead. GPEC/ICHV is fighting to ensure that those with an elevated risk of violence don’t have access to firearms. We are organizing, we are rebuilding, and we are positioning ourselves to continue the fight for a future free of gun violence.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

The Illinois Gun Violence Prevention Coalition (ILGVP), with over 200 member organizations, works to change the culture around firearms by advocating for common sense, evidence-based, gun violence prevention measures that will save lives in Illinois.

The Gun Violence Prevention Action Committee (GVPAC) advocates for common sense, evidence-based, gun violence prevention measures that will save lives in Illinois.

The Gun Violence Prevention Education Center/Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence (GPEC/ICHV) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the reduction of death and injury caused by firearms.

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