- Please contact your State Senator and your State Representativeand ask them to support and co-sponsor SB1171 and HB1143, respectively. Both bills create a system for universal background checks for all gun purchases. The goal is 30 Senators and 60 Representatives sponsors on each bill which will improve the chances that the bills will pass their respective chambers.
- Please contact U.S. Senator Mark Kirk and ask him to support universal background checks on all gun purchases. The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee recently voted along party lines to allow legislation requiring a universal background check to proceed to the full Senate for a vote. Senator Dick Durbin voted yes (and should be thanked for doing so).
WHY IT MATTERS:
The State of Illinois was recently ordered by a federal court to allow the carrying of concealed weapons and so legislation to implement concealed carry is likely in the near future. The League of Women Voters of Illinois joins other organizations in supporting SB1171 and HB1143 because it requires licensed gun dealers to perform a background check on individuals seeking to buy a gun. Registering guns is critical to reducing the incidence of gun violence. Making sure that those wishing to purchase a gun and registering it also undergo a background check before final purchase is critical to public safety. A background check may have prevented gun violence in Columbine, Tucson, Illinois (Northern Illinois University) and Virginia (Virginia Tech).