FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 24, 2022
G-PAC Applauds Congress for Passing Gun Violence Prevention Legislation After 28 Years of Inaction
Gun Violence Prevention Advocates Call for Continued Federal Urgency Following SCOTUS Ruling
Chicago — The Gun Violence Prevention PAC (G-PAC) is applauding Congress for breaking their decades-long streak of inaction on gun legislation with the passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, while urging for stronger federal action in the wake of the Supreme Court overturning New York State’s handgun law.
“As a nonpartisan organization that has rallied bipartisan support behind major gun violence prevention efforts here in Illinois, G-PAC applauds the members of Congress from both parties who voted for common-sense gun legislation,” said Kathleen Sances, President & CEO of the Gun Violence Prevention PAC. “We particularly want to recognize Senator Richard Durbin, who has long pushed to increase federal penalties for straw purchases, a key component of this bill.”
The new federal gun bill will significantly increase federal prison terms for straw purchasers of guns. Straw purchasers who buy guns for others are the way Chicago gangs get almost all of their guns. False identification as a purchaser is already a federal crime but the new law makes the resale or transfer an explicit new federal crime carrying a prison term of up to 15 years.
This provision adds stronger federal penalties to the Illinois law we successfully supported last year that makes the resale or transfer a state crime unless the transferee has passed a background check. “Enforcing these laws against straw purchasers is now the single most important step to reduce criminal violence in Chicago,” said Sances.
Since Illinois already has a red flag law, other provisions of the new federal law have minimal impact here. Illinois’ law applies to residents at age 21 for buying all guns (except with parental consent over 18) and includes non-spousal abuse in its gun purchase prohibitions. “We welcome the application of these common sense controls in other states whose residents may come into Illinois and commit gun violence here,” said Sances.
Despite this legislation being the most significant reform Congress has passed in decades, it remains a small step forward, particularly in comparison to yesterday’s setback in the U.S. Supreme Court.
“While this legislation is a necessary first step in curbing gun violence that plagues communities across our country, it is critical we continue to fight for meaningful progress on the federal level,” continued Sances. “G-PAC urges Congress to pass stronger legislation to take weapons of war off our streets, such as assault rifles and high-capacity magazines. Especially in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision that permits handguns in public spaces at the cost of public safety, Congress cannot be satisfied and think this bill is enough. Lives are at stake.”
About Gun Violence Prevention PAC (G-PAC)
The Gun Violence Prevention Political Action Committee (G-PAC) is the state’s leading gun violence advocacy organization. It was founded in 2013 to counter the political influence of the gun industry and their lobby in Springfield.
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