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Madigan Schedules Votes on Gun Safety Measures

In the wake of another tragic mass shooting claiming innocent lives at a Florida high school, Speaker Michael J. Madigan and House Democrats will advance a package of legislation next week that includes stricter regulation of gun dealers, restrictions on the purchase of military-style assault rifles, and stronger laws to keep individuals with a history of mental illness from obtaining guns.

“Young people and families whose lives have been forever changed by tragic school shootings went to their state capital and to Washington this week to demand their local legislators and President Trump get serious about enacting tougher gun laws. Their voices need to be heard because it’s now clearer than ever that while it’s the politicians who are refusing to act, it’s our children who suffer the consequences,” Madigan said. “Here in Illinois, Democrats will act on their plea. We will pursue legislation that limits access to the military-style assault rifles that were used to make schools in Florida and Newton into war zones. We will take steps to keep firearms out of the hands of people with a history of mental illness. And we will hold gun dealers accountable to ensure they are complying with the law.”

Madigan plans to call for a vote on gun dealer licensing legislation next week. The measure will hold gun dealers to the same standard as many other licensed professions including car dealerships, real estate agencies, and even beauty salons, to ensure gun shops meet basic levels of security and training and are complying with all state and federal laws.

“The tragic loss of life we witness on a daily basis on our streets, in our state and across our nation is a moral crisis that demands action,” said Cardinal Blase Cupich. “We must hear the voices of the children whose lives are forever changed and of the families who mourn and resolve to enact strong commonsense laws to help stop this madness. It is not too much to say that innocent people are dying as much from lack of courage and political will among our leaders as from bullets. Action is overdue and urgent.”

In addition to gun dealer licensing, Madigan plans to call a vote on a measure empowering family members and law enforcement to take steps to protect loved ones and the public. The Lethal Violence Order of Protection Act will allow family members or law enforcement officers to ask a court to temporarily intervene and prevent those who are a threat to themselves or others from possessing firearms.

House Democrats will also present legislation preventing people under 21 from purchasing military-style assault rifles, and enhanced screening requirements that will prevent people with a history of mental illness from purchasing firearms.

“Illinois can—and should—enact some of the strongest gun laws in the country, but those laws will only be keeping our children, families and communities safe from gun violence if gun dealers are following them,” said Kathleen Sances, president and CEO of the Gun Violence Prevention PAC. “Holding gun shops accountable is critical to preventing people with dangerous histories from obtaining guns, tracking lost and stolen firearms, and cracking down on straw purchasers.”