After Weekend of Record Violence, Rush and Duckworth Host Roundtable Discussion on Gun Violence in Chicago
CHICAGO — After a weekend of record violence in Chicago, U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) today hosted a roundtable discussion on gun violence with community members and stakeholders at the Gary Comer Youth Center in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood. Prior to the roundtable, Rush and Duckworth called for the passage of the Blair Holt Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2018 alongside Blair’s father, Ronald Holt. This legislation would prohibit unlicensed gun-ownership and transferring or receiving firearms without a valid firearms license, as well as direct the Attorney General of the United States to establish and maintain a federal record of sale system. Photos of the press conference and round table are available here.
“I am sick and tired of the scenes of violence and grief that are constantly taking place over and over again in our schools and neighborhoods. It is past time for action and commonsense solutions. That is why I’m happy to see Senator Duckworth join me in reintroducing Blair’s Bill. Because there is only one common thread across the gun violence epidemic in America — guns,” said Rush.
“This past weekend we saw 11 people lose their lives to senseless gun violence, with more than 73 people shot,” Duckworth said at the time. “Our own streets shouldn’t be more deadly than war zones. When will enough be enough?”
Rush first introduced this legislation in 2007 and subsequently reintroduced it in 2009, 2013, 2015 and now in 2018 with Duckworth joining him to lead this effort in the Senate. Their bill is named after Blair Holt, a Chicago Julian High School honor student who was gunned down protecting his friend when a gunman opened fire on their ride home from school on a crowded public transit bus. Modeled in part after the Illinois Firearm Owners Identification Card (FOID) statute, the Blair Holt Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2018 would:
- Protect the public against the unreasonable risk of injury and death associated with the unrecorded sale or transfer of qualifying firearms to unlicensed individuals.
- Ensure that owners of qualifying firearms are knowledgeable in the safe use, handling, and storage of those firearms.
- Restrict the availability of qualifying firearms to criminals, children, and other persons prohibited by federal law from receiving firearms.
- Require universal background checks for all purchases or transfers of firearms.
- Facilitate the tracing of qualifying firearms used in crime by federal and state law enforcement agencies.
"Blair’s murder, like those of so many young souls taken from us way before their time, shows us what type of destruction that a single person with a deadly firearm and a reckless disregard for human life can cause — and that is more than enough reason for us to enact commonsense reforms like those proposed in this bill,” said Rush.