Illinois leaders discuss bipartisan bill to address gun safety after Highland Park shooting

bandicam 2022-07-05 23-47-22-196

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, along with Democratic Rep. Robin Kelly and other leaders, reacted to the shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, as they discussed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act at Aunt Martha’s Southeast Chicago Community Health Center.

At least six people were killed in the shooting during a 4th of July parade, and dozens have been injured, officials said. The shooting suspect, who has not been charged, was taken into custody Monday evening. He used a “high-powered rifle” in the attack, police said.

President Biden in June signed into law the first major federal gun safety legislation passed in decades, marking a significant bipartisan breakthrough on one of the most contentious policy issues in Washington. The legislation came together in the aftermath of recent mass shootings at a Uvalde, Texas, elementary school and a Buffalo, New York, supermarket that was in a predominantly Black neighborhood.

“This bill places tougher penalties like gun trafficking and straw purchasing. Two of the things that plague us most in Chicago,” Lightfoot said. “With this legislation, straw purchasing is now a federal crime, a critically important step. Gun trafficking is now a freestanding offense for the first time in federal law.”

“This act also closes what is known as the boyfriend loophole by broadening limits on firearm purchases by people who have abused romantic and intimate partners,” she added.

Rep. Kelly also spoke about the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act and “why we have to keep working.

“Just yesterday in Highland Park, we lost six people to gun violence,” she said. “People were there just to enjoy their Independence Day weekend.” The lawmaker added the suspect “tore their worlds apart with a gun.”

According to Kelly, an important aspect of the bill for Chicago is the community violence intervention.

“We can pass all the laws that we want, but if we don’t invest in our young people, we don’t invest in our neighborhood, if we don’t invest in our communities, those gun laws are not going to mean a whole lot,” she said. “This new law includes a direct $250 million investment in community violence, intervention, funding and investments into many of the programs to curb violence.” news source cnn

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