SPRINGFIELD, IL – Everytown for Gun Safety, Giffords, and Brady released statements applauding Illinois Senate lawmakers for passing the Protect Illinois Communities Act, a critical gun violence prevention legislative package. The bill now returns to the Illinois House for concurrence.
“Today, Illinois lawmakers listened to voters and agreed on a package of common-sense policies to get assault weapons and high-capacity magazines off the streets, help keep guns away from people in crisis, and hold illegal gun traffickers accountable for taking advantage of weak laws in neighboring states,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “ This victory was made possible by Illinois Moms Demand Action volunteers, who were a constant presence in Springfield. Everytown is grateful to Representative Morgan, Speaker Welch, President Harmon, Governor Pritzker, and their colleagues for honoring the victims and survivors of gun violence, from Highland Park to the South Side of Chicago, with lifesaving laws.”
“Since July 4th of 2022, thousands of activists across Illinois have been asking their legislative leaders to produce strong, effective gun violence prevention legislation. Today, leaders like Representative Bob Morgan, Speaker Welch, President Harmon, and Governor Pritzker came together to introduce and pass a strong gun safety bill that will get assault weapons off the streets,” said Peter Ambler, executive director of Giffords. “Giffords thanks all of those who worked hard to make this day happen, including groups like GPAC and Protect Illinois Communities.”
“Brady applauds the passage of this life-saving legislation that will better protect communities across Illinois. Put simply, weapons of war have no place in civilian hands and in our communities at large,” said Kris Brown, president of Brady. “This assault weapons ban will add to Illinois’ record of strong gun laws and help prevent tragedies like Highland Park and countless others from occurring again. We have the power to prevent these uniquely American tragedies, and a ban on weapons of war and the magazines that further increase their lethality is a critical step towards that future.”
This omnibus package was introduced during the Illinois veto session in December. It includes legislation that would prohibit assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, prohibit rapid-fire devices that dramatically increase the rate of fire of semi-automatic firearms, facilitate better implementation and efficacy of Illinois’s Firearm Restraining Order (FRO) law, and address illegal gun trafficking in the state. The package introduction came following a year that saw at least 23 mass shootings across the country, including one in Highland Park, where seven people were shot and killed and an additional 48 people were wounded at a July Fourth parade by a shooter using a high capacity assault weapon.
Policy experts and volunteers from Everytown, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, Giffords, and Brady have been at the forefront of advocating for the Protect Illinois Communities Act, attending and testifying at hearings, meeting with legislators, and engaging in public discourse explaining the need for these life-saving measures.
In an average year, 1,505 people die and 2,715 people are wounded by guns in Illinois. Gun violence costs Illinois $18.6 billion each year, of which $625.5 million is paid by taxpayers. Learn more about gun violence in Illinois here.