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Illinois Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Applaud Passage of Legislation to Strengthen Illinois Background Check System

June 16, 2021

The Illinois chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following statements after lawmakers concurred on amendments and passed HB562. The bill would close gaps in Illinois’ Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) Card system and strengthen the rules for background checks on unlicensed gun sales in Illinois. This legislation would take important steps to ensure that firearms cannot be accessed by people with dangerous histories.

“This is a big step in the fight to end gun violence in Illinois. There’s no question that gaps in our background check system put our communities at risk, and with this action, we are helping to keep guns out of the hands of people with dangerous histories,” said Rhiannon Jimenez, a volunteer with the Illinois chapter of Moms Demand Action. “I’m grateful that Illinois lawmakers took this critical step today — but the work doesn’t stop here. We cannot rest until Governor Pritzker signs this bill into law.”

“Lawmakers should do everything they can to make sure guns do not end up in the hands of people who want to cause harm in our communities — period,” said Ade Osadolor-Hernandez, a volunteer with Students Demand Action in Illinois. “Illinois legislators showed today that they are willing to work together to take real action and protect communities from the threat of gun violence. This action will go a long way towards creating a better, safer future for our state. I encourage Governor Pritzker to sign this bill as quickly as possible.”

In addition to closing a critical gap in Illinois background check law, HB562 would also:

  • Strengthen Illinois background check system for unlicensed gun sales
  • Provide $9 million in funding for community-based mental health and gun violence prevention programs
  • Remove firearms from individuals with revoked FOID cards that have not yet relinquished them
  • Require Illinois State Police to monitor state and federal databases for prohibited firearm purchasers and update the records of FOID card holders

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.

More information about Illinois’ gun laws is available here

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