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Everytown, Giffords, Brady Call on Illinois Senate Lawmakers to Pass Strong and Enforceable Assault Weapons Prohibition, Part of Critical Protect Illinois Communities Act

Everytown for Gun Safety, Giffords, and Brady issued the following statements urging Illinois Senate lawmakers to pass an assault weapons prohibition that is comprehensive and can be fully implemented and enforced. This prohibition is part of the Protect Illinois Communities Act, a critical gun violence prevention legislative package currently on the Senate floor. 

Requiring current owners of assault weapons who wish to keep those firearms after the law goes into effect to register their weapons with the state protects public safety and the rights of law abiding gun owners. A system that clearly identifies grandfathered assault weapons and their current lawful owners–including unique information like the firearm’s serial numbers– is necessary to ensure that law enforcement officials can identify illegal assault weapons in the months and years ahead and get them off the streets of Illinois communities. On Friday, the Illinois House passed their version of the legislative package, including this critical provision. We endorse the House’s version of the legislation, specifically the inclusion of this critical measure.

“Ensuring all grandfathered assault weapons are quickly and clearly identifiable is a crucial step toward making assault weapon prohibitions enforceable and protecting public safety,” said John Feinblatt, President of Everytown for Gun Safety. “This is a common feature of assault weapon prohibitions in other states, and is a vital tool for law enforcement and a safeguard for lawful gun owners. Everytown endorses the Illinois House’s version of this omnibus gun safety package, including the inclusion of serial number  as part of the assault weapons registration process.”

“Requiring current owners of assault weapons to report their serial numbers is a critical element of a strong assault weapons ban and would ensure that law enforcement can properly implement and enforce the law and protect Illinois families and communities,” said Kris Brown, President of Brady. “The people of Illinois deserve a strong piece of legislation and Brady urges the Illinois Senate to pass the House version of this much needed legislation. 

“We must give law enforcement the tools they need to crack down on gun traffickers. This means ensuring that existing assault weapons can be readily identified and traced back to the point of sale,” said Peter Ambler, Executive Director of Giffords. “Giffords strongly endorses the House's version of the bill and calls for its swift passage.”

Using unique information, such as serial numbers, to identify grandfathered assault weapons allows law enforcement officers to quickly and reliably identify firearms that are not subject to the state prohibition and who may lawfully possess them. Simply put, it makes it possible to tell which guns are illegal and which are not. This is a crucial feature for ensuring that  assault weapons prohibitions are fully and fairly enforced.This implementation and enforcement  measure is included in the majority of the states with bans.    

Banning assault weapons is a life saving measure. Assault weapons are exceptionally deadly firearms commonplace in mass shootings. They are generally capable of firing far more bullets, far faster than manual-action hunting rifles. Prohibiting assault weapons can prevent mass shooting injuries and deaths.

The Protect Illinois Communities Act was introduced during the Illinois veto session in December. It includes legislation that would prohibit assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, facilitate better implementation and efficacy of Illinois’s Firearm Restraining Order (FRPO) law, and address illegal gun trafficking in the state. The package introduction comes following a year that saw at least 23 mass shootings across the country, including one in Highland Park, where seven people were shot and killed and an additional 48 people were wounded at a July Fourth parade. 

In an average year, 1,505 people die and 2,715 people are wounded by guns in Illinois. Gun violence costs Illinois $18.6 billion each year, of which $625.5 million is paid by taxpayers. Learn more about gun violence in Illinois here

About Everytown for Gun Safety
Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund (“Everytown for Gun Safety”) is the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country with nearly ten million supporters and more than 375,000 donors including moms, mayors, survivors, students, and everyday Americans who are fighting for common-sense gun safety measures that can help save lives. Learn more at www.everytown.org and follow us @Everytown.
About Moms Demand Action
Moms Demand Action is the nation’s largest grassroots volunteer network working to end gun violence. Moms Demand Action is part of Everytown for Gun Safety, an organization with nearly ten million supporters and more than 375,000 donors. Moms Demand Action campaigns for new and stronger solutions to lax gun laws and loopholes that jeopardize the safety of our families, educates policymakers and parents about the importance of secure firearm storage and works to create a culture of gun safety through partnerships with businesses, community organizations and influencers. There is a Moms Demand Action chapter in every state of the country and more than 700 local groups across the country. For more information or to get involved visit www.momsdemandaction.org. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MomsDemandAction, on Twitter at @MomsDemand and download our DemandAction app at https://momsdemandaction.org/app/.
About Students Demand Action
Students Demand Action is a national movement of high school and college-aged volunteers working to end gun violence. Students Demand Action volunteers organize within their schools and communities to educate their peers, register voters, and demand common-sense solutions to this national crisis. Students Demand Action has active volunteers in every state and more than 400 groups across the country. Students Demand Action is part of Everytown for Gun Safety, the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country with nearly ten million supporters and more than 375,000 donors. For more information or to get involved visit www.studentsdemandaction.org.


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