Gov. J.B. Pritzker is one of a dozen Democratic governors signing a letter urging President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to embrace “sensible” gun control legislation.
Among the things the governors want to see enacted are universal background checks and a national “red flag’ law.
The governors cited recent mass shootings in Philadelphia, Gilroy, California, Dayton, Ohio, El Paso and Odessa, Texas, that left 34 dead and dozens wounded.
“Unfortunately, these losses account for only a fraction of recent gun-related deaths,” the letter said. “In 2019, over 10,000 people have been shot and killed and 570 people were killed by a gun in the past two weeks alone. Thoughts and prayers won’t fix this disturbing trend. Enough is enough.”
The governors called for Congress to pass and Trump to sign four gun control laws, including a red flag law that bars people who pose a danger to themselves or others from buying or possessing guns, a universal background check to buy any gun, outlaw assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and establish stricter reporting requirements to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill.
Individual states have passed various gun control measures. Illinois this year passed its own red flag law and also state registration of gun dealers. The gun dealer law is being challenged in court. Illinois has seen mass shootings at Northern Illinois University in 2008, at Mercy Hospital in Chicago in 2018 and at warehouse in Aurora earlier this year.
“However, a patchwork of state laws will never be a substitute for coherent national policy,” the letter said.
The governors noted that the federal government has a history of enacting gun control laws when public pressure mounts. Machine guns were regulated during 1994, mail order gun sales were banned in 1968 and a 10-year ban on assault weapons was enacted in 1994.
“Americans are again calling on their government to act and it’s time to listen,” the governors said. “Putting an end to the gun violence epidemic is not a Republican or Democratic issue, it is an American issue.”
In addition to Pritzker, the letter was signed by the governors of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Washington.
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September 10, 2019 at 05:21PM