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Governor J.B. Pritzker Signs Bill to Strengthen Illinois Background Check System — Illinois Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Applaud Commitment to Gun Safety

August 2, 2021

The Illinois chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statements applauding Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker’s signing of H.B. 562, a law to close gaps in Illinois’ Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) Card system and strengthen the rules for background checks on unlicensed gun sales.

We are so grateful to have lawmakers and leaders like Governor Pritzker who continue to show their commitment to taking real action to end the gun violence crisis we are facing,” said Rhiannon Jimenez, a volunteer with the Illinois chapter of Moms Demand Action. “This law will make a real difference in protecting Illinois communities from gun violence. We know that individuals with dangerous histories should not have access to firearms, and now our laws reflect our leaders’ commitment to protecting our communities from gun violence. We applaud Governor Pritzker, and all of our lawmakers who played a role in getting this bill across the finish line.”

“With Governor Pritzker’s signing of this bill, we are one step closer to a world free from gun violence,” said Ade Osadolor-Hernandez, a volunteer with Students Demand Action in Illinois. “Today we took an important step forward in closing gaps in Illinois background check law, ensuring that firearms stay out of the hands of those who should not have them. While the fight to end gun violence is far from over, we celebrate this critical step, applaud our lawmakers who helped bring this bill into reality, and gear up to continue fighting to end gun violence once and for all.”

Requiring background checks on all gun sales is proven to reduce gun violence. State laws requiring background checks for all handgun sales—by point-of-sale check and/or permit—are associated with lower firearm homicide rates, lower firearm suicide rates, and lower firearm trafficking. 

Gun violence costs Illinois $10.6 billion each year, of which $668.9 million is paid by taxpayers. In an average year, 1,400 people die by guns in Illinois. Gun deaths have increased 32% from 2010 to 2019 in Illinois, compared to a 17% increase nationwide. This represents an increase of 303 gun deaths over this period in Illinois.

More information about Illinois’ gun laws is available here

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