-PAC Brings Gun Violence Prevention Advocates And Gun Owners Together To Enact Major Gun Violence Prevention Legislation
SPRINGFIELD — Gun Violence Prevention PAC (G-PAC) Illinois today made major strides toward reducing gun violence, capitalizing on a multi-year advocacy campaign to deliver a major piece of gun violence prevention legislation that Governor JB Pritzker signed into law. The bill passed on a bipartisan basis and is a major victory for gun violence prevention advocates and law-abiding gun owners alike, reducing gun violence by expanding background checks to all gun sales, investing $9 million in mental health funding for impacted communities, creating a stolen gun database, and requiring the Illinois State Police to monitor state and federal databases for prohibited gun buyers.
“Today our coalition delivered, organizing to ensure Governor Pritzker and legislators from both parties could take a major step forward in reducing the gun violence that plagues Illinois every day, in particular our Black and Brown communities,” said Kathleen Sances, President of Gun Violence Prevention PAC Illinois. “While the scourge of gun violence is a major equity issue that will not go away overnight, survivors and violence prevention advocates across the country can look at our coalition’s major victory and know that we can pass common sense measures that save lives without infringing on the rights of law-abiding gun owners.”
G-PAC Illinois ensured this legislation became law, successfully executing a multi-six-figure advocacy campaign that included a targeted social media program, a targeted constituent organizing program, and a digital day of action reaching over a half million people. In addition to implementing real universal background checks and increasing mental health funding to confront Illinois’ gun violence epidemic, the legislation also rectifies FOID card inefficiencies and incentivizes fingerprinting for FOID applicants to help reduce the application backlog.
Specifically, HB 562 includes the following critical gun violence prevention measures:
- Federal background checks via NICS will be required for all private, person-to-person gun sales.
- Private gun sales with a thorough background check can now be conducted either online or at a brick and mortar gun dealer.
- Private sales records will include make, model, and serial number of the gun. The seller of the firearm will be required to send the sales record to a Federal Firearms License dealer (FFL), who will keep the record for 20 years.
- $9 million from the mental health reporting fund will be directed to mental health services in communities most impacted by gun violence.
- Requirements that the ISP run correlations records continuously, monitoring state and federal databases for prohibited gun buyers.
- A database of stolen guns will be created to screen for illegal guns.
- Fingerprint incentives will be provided to reduce application fees, create automatic renewals every ten years, and prevent dangerous people from getting access to guns.
Critical to the new legislation is the new, true universal background check that closes dangerous loopholes that allow guns to enter the illegal market. All private sales of guns in Illinois must now go through an online portal and records of sales, including serial numbers, must be sent to a licensed, brick and mortar FFL. Records of these sales will ensure that all guns that are sold in Illinois and later used in crime can be traced to the seller. This will improve clearance rates which is critical in decreasing everyday gun violence and helping survivors of gun violence find justice.
In addition to Governor Pritzker and Illinois State Police Director Kelly, Senate Sponsors Leader Dave Koehler and Sen. Ram Villivalam and House Sponsors Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch and Leader Jay Hoffman have been strong advocates for this legislation. The signing of this bipartisan bill follows the release of more evidence showing that gun violence is an equity issue, as new data compiled by the National Violence Center revealed Illinois ranks fifth in the nation in black homicides.
G-PAC Illinois is a gun violence prevention advocacy organization founded by survivors in 2013 to counter the influence of the gun lobby in Springfield. G-PAC recently launched the “Our One Job” campaign, a digital advertising and grassroots advocacy effort to pass universal background checks and curb the flow of illegal guns that cause too many preventable gun violence tragedies. You can view a version of the ad here.