Darwish joins coalition urging passage of HB 4116 — life in prison for illegal gun sellers

Darwish joins coalition urging passage of HB 4116 — life in prison for illegal gun sellers
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Darwish joins coalition urging passage of HB 4116 — life in prison for illegal gun sellers

On Wednesday, August 7, 2019, a coalition of Illinois activists and candidates led by 3rd District Congressional candidate Rush Darwish and including Diane Latiker, Founder of Kids Off the Block (KOB); police accountability advocate Eric Russell; Mexican community activist Maria D’Amezcua; and Puerto Rican community Activist Hilda Frontany, held a press conference in Federal Plaza in downtown Chicago demanding that Congress swiftly pass House Bill 4116 by the end of the week, and urged Congress to pass harsher laws against the illegal buying and selling of guns.

“What is it going to take for our lawmakers to act?” Darwish asked.  “Congress needs to pass House Bill 4116 immediately, but also create harsher federal sentences for those who buy and sell illegal guns.  Gun violence in America is a national emergency. The American people deserve swift, decisive action on this issue. Beyond immediately passing House Bill 4116, I also propose that Congress make the illegal sale of firearms a federal crime with a life sentence in prison.”

Congressional Candidate Rush Darwiash urges tougher punishments for sellers of illegal weapons. Photo courtesy of the Rush Darwish campaign

Congressional Candidate Rush Darwiash urges tougher punishments for sellers of illegal weapons. Photo courtesy of the Rush Darwish campaign

Led by Darwish, Democratic candidate for Congress in IL-3, the coalition is pushing for “Sell for Life” legislation that would make the illegal sale of firearms a federal crime with a life sentence in prison. By taking a hard line against gun traffickers, the group is speaking for the dozens of neighborhoods throughout Chicagoland plagued by gun violence on an almost daily basis.

“Violent criminals and the straw purchasers who illegally sell guns are the biggest contributors to the endless gun violence in Chicagoland and other urban areas.  About 60 percent of illegal firearms seized and recovered by Chicago police come from out of state. They’re traced back to the states with less restrictive firearms regulations, with Indiana at the top of the list. This gun violence disproportionately affects black and brown communities.  Black men are over 10 times as likely and Hispanic men are over 3 times as likely to be gun homicide victims than white men.”

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In addition to his “Sell for Life” legislation, Darwish also called for a federal ban on assault rifles, high capacity magazine clips, and other weapons of war.  Darwish also highlighted the need for “Big Data” to be utilized to implement the most thorough and transparent set of federal background checks possible. Click here to view Rush Darwish’s Gun Violence Prevention policies.

The youngest of four children, Rush Darwish was born and raised in Stone Park, Illinois, by his immigrant parents and saw high rates of gun violence growing up. Darwish owns and runs a small business in the Pilsen neighborhood, and has seen firsthand the scourge of illegal guns in Chicagoland neighborhoods that his business serves.  Darwish recently served on Lori Lightfoot’s Transition Committee for Transportation and Infrastructure and volunteers his time helping disenfranchised children from war-torn countries gain access to free medical care. Darwish and his wife Aziza are raising their two boys in Chicago’s Southwest suburbs.

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