Rush Remarks at Blair Holt Firearm Owner Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2018 Press Conference

Aug 7, 2018
Press Release

CHICAGO — Today, U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) delivered the following remarks at a press conference to discuss the Blair Holt Firearm Owner Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2018.  

Rush Remarks as Prepared for Delivery:

Thank you all for joining us today.

Chicagoans, Illinoisans, and Americans across this great nation are demanding that Congress take real action to prevent gun violence and we must address this issue head on and do our part to prevent senseless shooting deaths.

The proliferation of and easy access to guns is an issue that impacts every single one of us and touches every corner of America.

Like many of you — 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.

There have been over 300 homicides in Chicago so far this year and.

Based off the fact that, according to the Chicago Tribune, as of August 1, 2018, 1,691 people have been shot, we know the majority of those homicides were the result of gun violence.

How much longer will we allow this?

This is not normal.

This should not continue.

It is past time for action and commonsense solutions.

We cannot continue to stand by and abdicate our responsibilities to the very communities that depend on us.

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.

Attempting to address this problem without addressing — or even acknowledging — that fact is fundamentally wrong.

Now this is legislation that I have repeatedly proposed since 2007 to pay tribute to a brave young man, Blair Holt.

Blair was a young Chicagoan and Julian High School honor student who was gunned down protecting his friend when a gunman opened fire while they were riding home from school on a crowded CTA bus.

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.

While some may argue that gun control does not work, I would counter that having a nationwide common-sense gun control policy that does what Blair’s Bill mandates would be much more effective in stopping the flow of guns.

It would make guns less accessible to criminals, the mentally disturbed, and inexperienced young people than the state-by-state hodgepodge of policies that is currently in effect.

In short, it would make sure that those who shouldn’t have guns, don’t.

This legislation would prohibit unlicensed gun-ownership and transferring or receiving firearms without a valid firearms license, as well as direct the U.S. Attorney General to establish and maintain a federal record of sale system; similar to how we treat car ownership

The cost of gun violence is too high, with human life and suffering that is immeasurable — that is more than enough reason for us to enact commonsense reforms like those proposed in this bill.