Amnesty International USA’s Campaign Manager for Ending Gun Violence, Ernest Coverson, issued the following statement in support of the Protect Illinois Communities Act (HB5855).
“It’s imperative that the Illinois legislature pass the Protect Illinois Communities Act ahead of the January session. This bill, which would ban assault weapons, among other provisions, is a step toward keeping the communities of Illinois safer and free of gun violence. Gun violence continues to tear apart our communities nationwide and has a disproportionate impact on people of color; for example, nationally, Black people are 10 times more likely to be victims of firearm-related homicides and 18 times more likely to suffer firearm-related injuries than white people. Illinois was ravaged by gun violence this year with more than 50 mass shooting incidents, some of which could have been prevented with stricter gun control measures such as what is contained in HB 5855.”
“Legislation like the Protect Illinois Communities Act puts necessary safeguards in place such as banning large capacity magazines, rapid-fire mechanisms, increasing the Firearm Owners Identification eligibility age to 21 with limited, specific exceptions, and dedicating law enforcement to counter the trafficking of illegal firearms from out of state. All of these measures will help address the plague of gun violence in both urban and rural communities across the state. Amnesty International urges state leaders and local communities to come together to support the Protect Illinois Communities Act and move one step closer to a safer Illinois.”
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