May 16, 2018 — Giffords, the gun safety organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Captain Mark Kelly, applauded the Illinois Senate for passing the Combating Illegal Gun Traffing Act (SB 337) to help slow the flow of illegal guns in Illinois.
The bill would give state authorities and law enforcement the tools to encourage better business practices among federally licensed gun dealers and hold corrupt dealers accountable in the state to better keep guns out of the wrong hands. The legislation comes after Governor Rauner recently vetoed a similar bill even after lawmakers and residents across the state called for him to approve it.
Statement from Robin Lloyd, Government Affairs Director at Giffords:
“Lawmakers in Illinois are showing relentless determination in their efforts to address gun violence in their communities. I applaud this renewed effort to tackle the illegal trafficking of firearms that puts too many lives in danger across the state. Leaders like Senator Harmon are showing what courage looks like by building consensus across the aisle and crafting legislation that provides oversight and accountability over the state’s gun dealers, helping our fight to reduce gun violence.”
Negligent gun dealers within Illinois fuel the illegal gun trade. From 2009 to 2013, 40 percent of the guns used in crimes in Chicago came from gun dealers within Illinois. Between 2002 – 2014, 14,273 people were killed with guns in Illinois, nearly three times the number of all U.S. combat troops killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined. A person is killed with a gun in Illinois every eight hours. But thanks to loopholes in federal law and a lack of federal resources for enforcement, Illinois doesn’t have the tools and authority it needs to combat illegal or negligent business practices that threaten Illinois families.
In 2016, Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords helped launch the Illinois Gun Violence Prevention Coalition, which brought together gun violence prevention advocates, faith leaders, medical professionals and others to urge support for common sense gun violence prevention policies, including provisions that became the Combating Illegal Gun Trafficking Act. Captain Mark Kelly also met with leaders in Illinois to advocate for the proposal to help reduce the illegal trafficking of firearms through straw purchasers, keeping guns out of the wrong hands.