WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today spoke on the Senate floor about President Biden’s Gun Crime Prevention Strategy and what must be done to help prevent mass shooting tragedies in Chicago and across the country.

“Did you hear that? This year, 23,000 gun violence deaths in America…Sadly, virtually every weekend is a mass shooting in the City of Chicago,” Durbin said. “No other nation on Earth experiences this massive civilian slaughter. Neither should we.”

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Durbin spoke about his support for keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and mentally unstable individuals. He also discussed funding provided by the American Rescue Plan that can help communities combat a rise in gun violence and address the impact of trauma on families, particularly young children. Earlier this year, Durbin introduced the RISE from Trauma Act, bipartisan legislation to increase support for children who have been exposed to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and trauma, including witnessing community violence, parental addiction, or abuse.

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“The American Rescue Plan, which passed the United States Senate without a single Republican vote in support, included funding that communities can use for youth unemployment programs, mental health services, and other strategies to break the cycle of violence. The [American] Rescue Plan also includes funding for local law enforcement to [support] community policing practices,” Durbin continued. “Last month, the President announced the creation of a new strike force to be headed by the Justice Department that will crack down on illegal gun trafficking in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Washington, D.C. I support this step.”

Durbin also voiced his strong support for David Chipman, President Biden’s nominee to be Director of ATF. The ATF has been without a Senate-confirmed Director since 2015. Durbin said Chipman would be essential in helping the nation enforce gun laws already on the books and reduce gun crime.

“A lifelong gun owner, he knows firsthand the responsibility of gun ownership and the commonsense safety measures that go hand in hand with it,” Durbin said.

Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

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