Illinois Gun Violence Prevention Coalition

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“Stopping gun violence takes courage – the courage to do what’s right, and the courage of new ideas. I’ve seen great courage when my life was on the line,” said former Congresswoman Giffords. “Now is the time to come together – to be responsible! Democrats, Republicans – everyone.”

I was honored to stand with former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and other Illinois leaders yesterday to launch the Illinois Gun Violence Prevention Coalition– a group of over 50 gun violence prevention allies uniting to urge the state’s legislators to take some responsible steps to stem illegal gun trafficking and save lives.

State Senator Don Harmon and State Representative Kathleen Willis will introduce a new proposal next week, the Gun Dealer Licensing Act, which would give state authorities and law enforcement the tools to encourage better business practices among federally licensed gun dealers and hold corrupt dealers accountable to slow the flow of illegal gun trafficking in Illinois.

“From 2009 to 2013, 40 percent of the guns used in crimes in Chicago came from gun dealers within Illinois. 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 the safety of our children, families and communities,” said Kathleen Sances, Executive Director of the Gun Violence Prevention PAC.

The Gun Dealer Licensing Act will strengthen Illinois’ laws and help end the flow of illegal guns to criminals and dangerous people through a number of small changes to the state’s laws, including:

•Requiring criminal background checks for gun dealer employees: Gun store employees often have access to huge inventories of guns and it is common sense to make sure that the dealer and employees are just as responsible as the buyers;

•Requiring training to ensure that dealers and their employees know how to conduct background checks, identify and stop straw purchases, and properly store guns to prevent thefts.; and

•Allowing inspection of the inventories of licensed gun dealers so we can make sure gun dealers are held accountable for missing firearms.

The press conference and community roundtable were covered by ABC and WGN, the Chicago Tribune, and the Chicago Sun-Times.

We applaud Sen. Harmon and Rep. Willis for their courage to stand up to the gun lobby to fight for common sense gun safety measures that will protect our communities. Please donate to our campaign fund today so we can protect the public officials who will put their jobs on the line when they support this measure.

We know we can win when we are united. Thanks for your time and support. Together we can elect the leaders we deserve-

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The Gun Violence Prevention Political Action Committee (G-PAC) was founded by gun violence survivors
to counter the political influence of the gun industry and their lobby in Springfield.