AURORA, Ill. – State Rep. Barbara Hernandez, D-Aurora, will lead an effort to get weapons of war off streets as a member of the House Firearm Safety and Reform Working Group. House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch appointed Hernandez to the working group in recognition of her acumen on the subject.
“Gun violence has had a terrible impact on communities across Illinois—including Aurora—and joining a group of dedicated lawmakers who are passionate on this subject is a privilege,” Hernandez said. “I can say without hesitation that our goal will be to make substantive legislative changes to crack down on gun deaths in our communities so no others have to experience the same pain we have had to deal with.”
Hernandez will join the House Democrats’ Firearm Safety and Reform Working Group, led by state Rep. Bob Morgan, who represents Highland Park, the site of the recent July 4th Parade mass shooting that left seven dead and dozens wounded. Hernandez will be joined by state Reps. La Shawn Ford, Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz, Sonya Harper, Maura Hirschauer, Jay Hoffman, Nick Smith, Denyse Stoneback, Kathleen Willis and Lance Yednock.
The group will work with stakeholders to develop comprehensive legislation addressing access to firearms and ammunition, licensing, sales and background checks. Additional House working groups will examine intersecting issues of mental health and online extremism.
“The devastating impacts of gun violence are wide-ranging, but my thoughts often go to the thousands of kids in our community that are growing up in schools that feel less safe,” Hernandez said. “Their parents send some of them to class with bulletproof backpacks, and at school, they have regular drills to try and remain safe in case of an active shooter. They are already victims of the gun violence epidemic, and this is not the world they deserve. One of the aims of our working group is to help change that.”