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Everytown, Illinois Moms Demand Action Urge Legislators to Reject Reckless Bill That Would Repeal Illinois’ Gun Background Check Requirement

January 23, 2017

Scheduled for a Hearing Today, H492 Would Repeal Illinois’ Background Check Law and Make It Easy For Felons, Domestic Abusers and Other Dangerous People to Buy Guns

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Everytown for Gun Safety and the Illinois Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today urged Illinois lawmakers to reject H492, a dangerous proposal that would repeal the state’s law requiring a background check for every gun sale. The House Rules Committee has scheduled a hearing on H492 for this afternoon.

Federal law requires background checks on all gun sales from licensed dealers, but it does not cover so-called private or unlicensed sales, including sales over the internet and at gun shows. Illinois goes beyond federal law by requiring a background check on all gun sales. If allowed to take effect, H492 would strip this law from the books, thus making it easy for dangerous people – including felons, domestic abusers and fugitives – to buy guns in Illinois.

Research shows that in states that require background checks on all handgun sales, 47 percent fewer women are shot to death by intimate partners, there are 47 percent fewer suicides by gun and there are 53 percent fewer law enforcement officers shot and killed in the line of duty with guns that are not their own.

Data also shows that states without background checks contribute significantly to gun violence in Chicago: Three in five guns recovered at Chicago crime scenes were first sold in other states, according to a 2014 trace analysis by the city and the University of Chicago Crime Lab. The top out-of-state suppliers according to the analysis were Indiana, Mississippi and Wisconsin – none of which require a background check for every gun sale.


“It’s baffling and shameful that some of our representatives apparently want to get rid of a common-sense law that makes it harder for dangerous people to get guns. At a time when our state’s largest city is reeling from a gun violence crisis – a crisis made worse by guns brought in from states without background check requirements – this proposal would only make it easier for criminals to get guns right here in Illinois.

To reduce the gun violence affecting communities across Illinois and across the country, we need more states, not fewer, to require background checks for all gun sales. I urge our representatives to reject this proposal and make clear that Illinois will not let the gun lobby roll back lifesaving gun laws.”

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