Rep. Kelly, Sen. Durbin Urge Common Sense Reforms to Stem the Rising Tide of Gun Violence in Illinois and Across America

WASHINGTON, D.C.—(ENEWSPF)—June 25, 2014. U.S. Representative Robin Kelly (D-IL) and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called on elected officials and advocates to work together in identifying and implementing common sense reforms to reduce gun violence in communities in Illinois and across the country.   According to the most recent FBI data, 439 people were murdered with a firearm in Illinois in 2012.  Nationwide, over 30,000 Americans each year are killed in homicides, suicides, or accidents involving guns. 

Earlier today, Kelly released the 2014 Kelly Report on Gun Violence in America, the first-ever comprehensive Congressional analysis of the nation’s gun violence epidemic that offers a blueprint for ending the crisis. Today, Kelly also introduced in the House of Representatives the Crime Gun Tracing Act, which creates strong incentives for law enforcement agencies to report 100 percent of the crime guns they recover to the ATF National Tracing Center, a practice many agencies do not currently follow. Durbin introduced the legislation in the Senate last year.

“America has a gun violence problem. It’s time that we face it head on by instituting common sense gun reforms to save lives,” Kelly said. “We can strike the right balance between protecting the Second Amendment and promoting public safety by keeping guns out of the wrong hands. The Kelly Report strikes this balance.”

“Communities in Chicago and across the nation know all too well the heavy and continuing toll of gun violence, which claims over 30,000 American lives every year. I commend Representative Kelly for producing today’s report, which includes common sense solutions to keep guns out of the hands of criminals while protecting the rights of law abiding citizens,” Durbin said. “I am particularly glad to join with her in sponsoring legislation to encourage law enforcement to trace every single gun recovered in a crime.  Crime gun tracing is free, it is easy, and it is one of the most powerful tools that law enforcement has to solve crimes and identify gun trafficking networks.”

The Kelly Report brings together Members of Congress, academics and gun reform advocates to examine the root causes and impact of gun violence in America and provide a comprehensive set of legislative and policy recommendations to stop it. Contributors to the report include U.S. Representative Mike Thompson (D-CA), chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force; U.S. Representative Marcia Fudge (D-OH), chair of the Congressional Black Caucus; Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel; and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

Among the recommendations, the report proposes requiring universal background checks for gun sales, strengthening laws to ensure that domestic abusers and stalkers are unable to obtain guns, investing in smart gun technologies to prevent stolen guns from being used to commit crimes, and repealing gun manufacturers’ immunity to allow gun violence victims to sue for damages resulting from industry misconduct.

Another key recommendation of the report is expanding law enforcement’s ability to track and trace firearms to crackdown on gun trafficking and straw purchases. Today, Kelly introduced the Crime Gun Tracing Act, which incentivizes law enforcement agencies to report 100 percent of their recovered crime guns to the National Tracing Center to better target gun trafficking operations and solve violent gun crimes. Crime gun tracing can help generate leads in criminal investigations and reveal how guns are trafficked into criminals’ hands. This bill is the House companion to legislation Durbin introduced last year.

More information on the Crime Gun Tracing Act is available at: http://www.durbin.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/pressreleases?ID=16aaf2fd-ad81-443e-9082-df067605d674

More information on the Kelly Report is available at: http://robinkelly.house.gov/media-center/2014-kelly-report-gun-violence-in-america

Source: robin.kelly.house.gov