VICTORY FOR GUN SAFETY: Following the Relentless Advocacy of Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Volunteers, Illinois Governor J.B Pritzker Signs Historic Gun Violence Prevention Package, the Protect Illinois Communities Act
Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action Volunteers Sent Over 10,000 Messaging, including by Email and Phone to Lawmakers, Testified at all Legislative Hearings, Traveled Hours to Urge Lawmakers to Pass Critical Legislation
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statements applauding Illinois Governor J.B Pritzker for signing into law the Protect Illinois Communities Act, a critical gun violence prevention legislative package.
“This lifesaving package will go a long way toward getting assault weapons and high-capacity magazines off the streets, keeping guns away from people in crisis through red flag laws, and holding 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 vocal presence in Springfield. Everytown is grateful to Governor Pritzker, Representative Morgan, Speaker Welch, President Harmon and their colleagues for honoring the victims and survivors of gun violence with action.”
“Illinois Moms Demand Action volunteers are a political powerhouse: from late nights at hearings to sending thousands of calls and emails to lawmakers, to testifying on behalf of this life-saving legislation,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “In fact, some of the lawmakers who made this monumental victory possible are Moms Demand Action volunteers who are now state lawmakers. This is the playbook we’ll continue to use across the country.”
“Today, Illinois took a huge step in ensuring no other parent needs to experience my pain in losing their child to senseless gun violence,” said Pastor Brenda Mitchell, Survivor Fellow with the Everytown Survivor Network and Co-Lead of the Illinois Chapter of Moms Demand Action. “We are incredibly grateful to Governor Pritzker, Rep. Bob Morgan, and Illinois lawmakers for understanding how critical this legislative package is in saving lives. This is a huge milestone for our fight for gun safety here in Illinois, but there remains much more work to be done, and we will continue calling for comprehensive gun violence measures!”
“Across the country and right here in Illinois, my generation is bearing the burden of our gun violence crisis,” said Mirabella Johnson, a volunteer with Students Demand Action in Illinois. “We are proud to live in a state that is putting our safety first, and we are excited to work hand in hand with our lawmakers as we continue the work to save lives.”
Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers have been at the forefront of advocating for the Protect Illinois Communities Act, attending and testifying at hearings, meeting with legislators, and advocating for these life saving measures.
The 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.
This legislative package passed following a historic midterm election, where sixteen Illinois Moms Demand Action volunteers running for office up and down the ballot won, highlighting the political power of Moms Demand Action volunteers as candidates for office themselves, and the popularity of gun safety. Volunteers elected include Nabeela Syed, a Muslim, Indian American woman who flipped a GOP-held district and will be the youngest member of the Illinois General Assembly, and the re-election of State Representative Maura Hirschauer, who has been a champion for gun safety in the Illinois General Assembly since she was first elected.
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.