PRESS RELEASE: Public Safety Advocates and Survivors Call for Action on the Second Anniversary of the Henry Pratt Company Mass Shooting


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Kathleen Sances  847-920-4722

Public Safety Advocates and Survivors Call for Action on the Second Anniversary of the Henry Pratt Company Mass Shooting

Two years after the Aurora tragedy, it is time to close loopholes to ensure only people who are not a harm to themselves or others have access to guns


Chicago IL, February 2021 – Today, Illinois public safety advocates and gun violence survivors gathered on the second anniversary of the Henry Pratt Shooting in Aurora, Illinois, where five people were killed and six others were injured. Attendees honored the five people lost in this tragedy; Clayton Parks, Trevor Whener, Russ Beyer, Vicente Juarez, and Josh Pinkard.

Research shows that the Aurora workplace shooting, as well as Illinois’ record level of gun violence in 2020, are fueled by illegal guns that enter the criminal market through dangerous loopholes in the Illinois FOID Law. Illinois leads the nation in gun sales, yet has glaring loopholes in existing law that are routinely exploited by criminals, like the shooter in Aurora. Today, advocates committed to closing these deadly loopholes by pledging to continue their work to pass the BIO (Block Illegal Ownership) Bill this session.

“In the two years since the Aurora shooting, Illinois has seen historic levels of gun violence yet Springfield has failed to pass evidence-based legislation to block prohibited people from obtaining and keeping Illegal guns. This inaction by lawmakers is a failure that puts the lives of children, families, and communities, especially communities of color, at the mercy of our state’s unchecked gun violence crisis,” said Kathleen Sances, President and CEO of the Gun Violence Prevention PAC.

 “Today I pledge to sponsor and reintroduce the BIO Bill to modernize the FOID system and keep Illinois children and families safe from gun violence. We can prevent tragedies like the Aurora mass shooting by obtaining fingerprints for FOID applications, background checks for person-to-person gun sales and resources for the Illinois State Police (ISP) to remove guns from people with revoked FOID cards” said State Senator Ram Villivalam. He continued “I urge my colleagues in the State Senate to cosponsor this act to enhance public safety and honor the lives of victims and families devastated by gun violence in our state.”

House Sponsor State Representative Kathleen Wiilis said “We can not continue to not act on sensible legislation that will prevent the wrong people from owning guns and give law enforcement the resources and support they need to do their job safer when it comes to dealing with gun revocations.” She added “Lawful gun owners have nothing to fear from this bill.”

Abby Parks, the widow of Aurora shooting victim Clayton Parks added, “Part of honoring Clay’s memory means addressing the fact that Clay and the four others taken that day could still be with us if illegal guns were not left in the hands of people with revoked FOID cards. That is why I am asking legislators in Springfield to honor Clay and the Aurora community through taking action to pass the BIO Bill. It will require that Illinois State Police remove guns from prohibited people who have their FOID cards revoked, like the man who killed Clay.  It will also mandate that all people who want to own a gun in Illinois submit their fingerprints so that Illinois State Police can accurately verify their identities and make sure they are not a danger to themselves or others. Please take action today to honor Clay. “


“Two years ago, our Aurora community was ripped apart when a disgruntled employee shot and killed five colleagues at the Pratt warehouse and wounded five officers,” said Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman. ”Aurora Police Department looks forward to continuing to work with the sponsors of the Fix the FOID bill to find reasonable and workable solutions to help prevent tragedies in the future.”



GVP (Gun Violence Prevention) IL is a group of organizations whose one aim is

to reduce death and injury by firearms in Illinois.


As the Lake County State’s Attorney, I am honored and humbled every day to lead the fight against crime, and to strive to ensure equal and just treatment under the law. I have been an attorney for twenty-two years – and each of those years has made me a stronger and smarter advocate for people, for ideas, and for the principles that unite us all.

I am so proud to lead an office of 140 dedicated colleagues who serve the public by prosecuting crime, advocating for victims, and planning crime prevention programs. I am also proud to work with hundreds of Lake County police officers on a daily basis to connect with every community and to develop comprehensive, holistic plans to respond to the mental health and economic crisis that arose from the COVID-19 pandemic.

On one particular day, July 4, 2022, I was saddened, inspired, and motivated by the bravery of so many people. We will always stand with the victims and honor the police and other first responders who ran toward the danger. Just as so many heroes that day thought only of themselves, I also witnessed the prosecutors in my office answer the call to serve survivors and their community – even on one of its darkest days.

Every moment that I have been your legal representative, I have worked tirelessly to oversee prosecutions and to implement policies that make my family and my neighbors safer in the short term and in the long term. That is the job of the State’s Attorney: to prosecute, to innovate, and to strategically plan.

I was raised in a small town. My parents are teachers, and from them, I learned that everyone must be treated equally and that America’s sacred mission is to provide a political, economic, and legal system that allows anyone to prosper regardless of the circumstances of their birth. After graduating from Knox College and the University of Chicago Law School, I spent two years at a first-rate civil law firm in Chicago where I learned that hard work and attention to detail on every case mean the difference between success and failure.

With my wonderful wife Stephanie, I am raising my two sons, Sam and Teddy, in Lake County. Nothing is more important to me than my family’s safety and I bring that passion and determination to protect all families with me to work every day.

I joined the Lake County Public Defender’s Office in 2003 and started my own law firm in 2009. From 2003 until 2020, I watched the Lake County legal system fail to prioritize violent crime, prevent wrongful prosecutions, or address racial disparities.

So, in 2019, I decided to run for State’s Attorney so that I could serve our community by improving a local legal system that cared more about covering up its mistakes and biases than uncovering new and innovative ways to help people.

I won the 2020 election, and became the first Democrat to hold this position in 40 years. Bringing in a new party wasn’t as important as ending 40 years of one mindset that had forgotten the people and that had failed to act urgently to develop new strategic plans to prevent crime while also ensuring that each prosecution is smart, moral, and just.

We have followed through on our promises. We have built the first-ever violent crimes unit, increased prosecutors in our domestic violence division, and vastly upgraded our cyber lab. Now, we have top-notch software and personnel to finally keep up with those who would exploit others.

We have been awarded a large federal grant to bring the first ever Human Trafficking Task Force to Lake County. We have deepened our investment in people by bringing in more victim specialists and raising the salaries of many of our prosecutors.

But the work goes on. We must expand our prevention efforts that are starting with the Gun Violence Prevention Initiative launched in 2022. And we know that the opioid crisis touches thousands of lives throughout this country.

I am proud to serve on the Executive Board of the Lake County Opioid Initiative which has been working tirelessly since its founding in 2012 to reverse a devastating trend of increased overdoses. In 2022, our office was part of a national settlement against opioid manufacturers and distributors.

As an attorney of 22 years, I have committed my life to helping people, and I have conducted over 70 jury trials in Lake County, and handled appeals that have culminated in over 20 oral arguments before the appellate court and Supreme Court of Illinois.

I see my time in this office as the next phase of helping a community that I love and where I have chosen to raise my family. In my first term, we have made Lake County safer and fairer through just prosecutions, constitutional policing, and innovative crime prevention policies.