WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today met with Highland Park, Illinois, residents and members of March Fourth, a gun safety advocacy group, following the Highland Park mass shooting on July 4 that resulted in the deaths of seven people and injured dozens more. During the meeting, Highland Park residents shared their experiences from the shooting and the toll that attack has had on them and their families.
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Durbin and Duckworth went on to discuss policy solutions to the gun violence epidemic and to rein in assault weapons and high capacity magazines. Both Senators are cosponsors and advocates of the Assault Weapons Ban of 2021.
“After this July 4th mass shooting, Highland Park will never be the same. Children will grow up without parents. Others will be emotionally and physically burdened for years to come. I admire the courage of Highland Park residents who came to share their experience with Senator Duckworth and me today,” said Durbin. “I share the grief of the Highland Park community, and these stories will stay with me as I continue to push the Senate forward on gun safety reform. We cannot become complacent about the destruction we are facing from gun violence.”
“As Illinois and our entire nation continues to mourn the Highland Park Fourth of July parade massacre and remembers all those lost to preventable gun violence, it was important for me to join Senator Durbin and survivors today to hear their harrowing stories and discuss every option we have to ensure every community in America is safe from gun violence,” said Duckworth. “For Highland Park, for Uvalde, for Buffalo, for Chicago and for every other community terrorized by gun violence, we need to suspend the filibuster to ban assault weapons, ban high-capacity magazines, establish universal background checks and pass every commonsense gun safety reform necessary so no other city ever suffers this tragedy again.”
Durbin and Duckworth both supported the recently-enacted Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which cracks down on straw purchasing, expands background checks for buyers under 21 years of age, takes steps to close the “boyfriend loophole,” supports state red flag laws, and offers billions in funding for counseling, mental health, and trauma support for victims of gun violence. While the bipartisan legislation was a starting point for gun reform, both Senators are calling for additional reform.