Gov. Pritzker, 11 Governors Urge Federal Action to Address the Gun Violence Epidemic
Governor JB Pritzker and 11 governors from across the country are urging President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to enact sensible gun legislation to help protect the American public from the gun violence epidemic.
Since the federal assault weapons ban expired in 2004, Illinois communities have mourned fatal mass shootings at a DeKalb university, Chicago hospital and Aurora manufacturer, among other tragic shootings. With an influx of guns from other states, Illinois communities are also suffering from painful gun violence that is often ignored in national headlines but that leaves lasting damage and tragedy in cities throughout the state.
Across the country, Americans have seen gun violence in hundreds of locations – including places of worship, offices, stores, movie theaters and schools. Gov. Pritzker joined the governors of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Washington in the Sept. 10 letter, which reads as follows:
To: The President of the United States, Donald J. Trump
Cc: Senate Majority Leader, The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Our country continues to mourn the tragic events in Gilroy, El Paso, Dayton, Philadelphia, and Odessa. These five unnecessary and horrific tragedies took at least 34 lives, wounded dozens, and caused emotional trauma to countless others. Unfortunately, these losses account for only a fraction of recent gun-related deaths. In 2019, over 10,000 people have been shot and killed, and 570 people were killed by a gun in the past two weeks alone. Thoughts and prayers won’t fix this disturbing trend. Enough is enough.
Public safety is the first and most important responsibility of government, and the failure to act to protect the public is a failure in leadership. As Governors, it is our responsibility to listen to our communities’ calls for action. However, a patchwork of state laws will never be a substitute for coherent national policy.
The federal government has a history of acting on gun reform when the American public demands it. In 1934, the federal government regulated machine guns. In 1968, the federal government banned mail order gun sales. In 1994, the federal government implemented a 10- year ban on assault weapons. Americans are again calling on their government to act, and it’s time to listen.
Putting an end to the gun violence epidemic is not a Republican or Democratic issue, it is an American issue. Gun deaths do not have to be the norm. The time is now to break the cycle by enacting four common-sense measures. We implore you to work with Congress to pass sensible gun legislation that includes the following four policies that a majority of Americans support:
• Pass Extreme Risk Protection Order legislation, commonly referred to as Red Flag laws, preventing individuals who pose a risk to themselves or others from purchasing or possessing a firearm;
• Pass universal background checks closing the private gun sales loophole;
• Outlaw assault weapons and high-capacity magazines; and
• Establish stricter reporting requirements to prevent those deemed by a mental health professional to be a danger to themselves or others from purchasing a firearm.
The American public supports action. So do we.
Governor Andrew Cuomo
State of New York
Governor Gavin Newsom
State of California
Governor Ned Lamont
State of Connecticut
Governor John Carney
State of Delaware
Governor JB Pritzker
State of Illinois
Governor Gretchen Whitmer
State of Michigan
Governor Phil Murphy
State of New Jersey
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham
State of New Mexico
Governor Kate Brown
State of Oregon
Governor Tom Wolf
State of Pennsylvania
Governor Gina Raimondo
State of Rhode Island
Governor Jay Inslee
State of Washington