As your State Senator, I have long recognized the problem of gun violence on our streets. The last year has seen the deadliest mass shooting in American history at a concert in Las Vegas, and a devastating church attack in Sutherland Springs, Texas. And now we’ve experienced our nation’s deadliest high school mass shooting in Parkland, Florida.
Now is not the time to be silent on the issue of gun control. No parent should ever get the call that 17 families received last week that their children are not coming home. The American people are sick of this. I am sick of this endless cycle of violence and condemnation, with no real change taking place.
I have been working on the problem of too many guns on our streets and deadly weapons in the hands of the wrong people. In the last year, I have introduced legislation to require fingerprinting to receive a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) Card, to limit the sale of guns, and to increase licensing requirements on those who sell guns and ammunition.
Most recently, I introduced Senate Bill 3297, which will make it illegal to sell assault weapons, such as the AR-15, in Illinois. The legislation spells out which weapons are included in the definition of assault weapons and also includes the sale of so-called “large capacity ammunition feeding devices” of more than 10 rounds in a single magazine, belt or drum. This bill would make it illegal in our state to sell the weapons of war that were involved in 11 of the deadliest mass shootings in the last decade.
Seventeen people were killed last week when Nikolas Cruz, 19, opened fire at his former high school in Parkland, Fla., with a Smith & Wesson M&P semi-automatic rifle, an AR-15.
In November of last year, a gunman identified as Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, opened fire at a Sunday service in a rural Texas church, killing at least 26 people. The killer used a Ruger AR-15 variant.
In October, 58 people were killed and more than 500 were wounded when Stephen Paddock opened fire onto a crowd of concert-goers at an outdoor music festival in Las Vegas. Authorities recovered an arsenal of weapons, including AR-15-style rifles.
These weapons have spilled enough innocent blood. We owe it to the victims to do something.
Gun violence takes a massive toll on America’s children, according to the Brady Campaign, a leading advocate for gun control. Shootings are the second-leading cause of death of children 19 and under in our nation (after car crashes), and seven children under 20 are killed by guns every day, according to the organization.
The legislation I have proposed in Springfield is a step in the right direction, but if you want to see true change on a national level, I need your help. Please contact your elected officials and tell them that you demand they take action on gun safety. For contact information and helpful templates you can use to reach out to your elected leaders, visit www.giffords.org/act/advocacy-
Useful links to learn more about gun control:
Please work with me to end the scourge of gun violence ravaging our streets and schools. Please make your voice heard.
Illinois State Senate, District 8