A Vaccine Against Gun Violence
As we enter a new year, we must confront the fact that Chicago has seen the most violent January in four years as a result of illegal firearms that flow easily into communities throughout our state. Police have arrested about one person per day for having an illegal gun in one of the busiest, high traffic areas of our state.
We saw the public health crises of gun violence and COVID-19 converge last year to devastate communities across Illinois. While the legislature listened to the science on one public health crisis and took steps to combat COVID-19, they failed to act on the evidence-based solutions to reduce the flow of illegal guns. Instead, gun stores were kept open as essential businesses, the gun industry and their lobby took advantage of a public health crisis to create chaos to drive gun sales to record levels and cities across the nation saw spikes in gun violence. More guns turned into more gun deaths: more homicides, suicides and lethal incidents of domestic violence in a shelter-in-place environment.
This inaction by lawmakers is a failure that is putting the lives of children, families, and communities, especially communities of color, at the mercy of our state’s unchecked gun violence crisis. Research conducted by Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Policies to Reduce Gun Violence in Illinois offers evidence-based recommendations to make certain only law abiding people who are not a harm to themselves or others have access to guns by:
- Closing the person-to-person background check loophole;
- Requiring a fingerprint for FOID (Firearm Owner ID) CARD; and
- Requiring action by Illinois State Police to remove guns once a FOID CARD is revoked.
Here at G-PAC, we pledge to advocate for these measures in the current legislative session. We pledge to continue to shine a light on the gun manufacturers and their lobby for their unchecked and unsafe business model. Just as important, we pledge to hold accountable the lawmakers who are blocking these life-saving policies.