WASHINGTON – On the Senate floor, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today joined U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) in requesting unanimous consent to pass H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021, which would close gaping loopholes in the background check system and require FBI background checks for nearly all gun sales. Durbin’s speech follows the school shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan this week, which killed four students and injured six students and a teacher.
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“What will it take? Is there a crime involving guns in America so horrific that finally we'll say enough?” Durbin said. “Nine hundred people died by gunfire in Cook County, Illinois, which I represent, just this year. Forty-thousand Americans lost their lives to guns last year. We can't do anything about that. They're gone. But, what about tomorrow's victims? What about next week's victims? What about the next high school? We can do something about that. And this bill would pass today if Republican Senators would allow it.”
U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) objected to the unanimous consent request.
Durbin continued, “We are not going to stay in the stands and in the bleachers as kids are being gunned down at Oxford High School… The Senate Judiciary Committee will have a hearing. We're going to move forward as best we can. Maybe there is common ground out there. I pray for the victims and their families. I pray that there is.”