SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Kam Buckner, D-Chicago, in an effort to crack down on violent crime, voted to pass the landmark gun safety reform, the Protect Illinois Communities Act, which will now go to the Governor’s desk for signature.
“So many families in my communities have been touched by gun violence, often done with weapons of war that have no place on our streets, and it is long past time we put a stop to it,” Buckner said. “For too long, after yet another deadly shooting, we’ve asked ourselves when will it be enough, when will we take action? We’ve had more than enough of those questions. Today, we’ve had enough. Today, we are taking action. Today, we are taking the largest step for gun violence prevention in Illinois history.”
The Protect Illinois Communities Act is the culmination of months of negotiation among advocates, survivor groups, the Senate and the Governor. The proposal will ban the sale of weapons such as assault rifles, high-capacity magazines, and rapid-fire modifications that make semiautomatic weapons function like automatic weapons. The bill also creates a state police anti-trafficking unit to collaborate with federal law enforcement agencies to combat the flow of illegal guns across state lines, and expands and strengthens Illinois’ red flag law.
“Of course, gun violence prevention also requires mental health support and more importantly community investment. While it is a vital step, passing the Protect Illinois Communities Act is far from the end of the conversation,” Buckner said. “Combatting joblessness, homelessness, food deserts and healthcare inequality will all contribute to our safety as well.”