Ahead of March For Our Lives, Durbin Calls On Republicans To Stand Up To The NRA & Support Meaningful Gun Violence Prevention Legislation

WASHINGTON—As tens of thousands of students and supporters of gun violence prevention prepare to march in Washington D.C., Chicago, and cities and towns across America, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today slammed President Trump and the Republican majority in Congress for still being unwilling to push for any gun reforms that the gun sales lobby opposes.  

“On March 24, students and Americans of all ages will march in the streets to honor those who have been lost to senseless gun violence and to call on their elected representatives to step up.  I support the marchers, and I will continue to work for meaningful action to help reduce gun violence.   I’m going to keep doing everything I can to put the safety of our kids and our neighborhoods ahead of the gun lobby’s agenda,” Durbin said in a speech on the Senate floor.  “I hope my colleagues from across the aisle will join me.  It’s time to take a stand and show leadership.  America’s waiting.”

Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor are available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

In his speech on the Senate floor, Durbin noted that some modest gun violence prevention measures were included in the omnibus spending bill – including the Fix NICS bill and language that sought to clarify that the Dickey Amendment does not prevent the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from researching the causes of gun violence.  There was also important language that Durbin included in the defense portion of the omnibus spending bill directing the Department of Defense to not only submit all of its relevant records to the NICS background check system, but also to flag and pre-validate which records would prohibit a person from buying a gun (a step that helps the FBI conduct background checks more quickly and accurately).

However, Durbin noted that the omnibus bill does not address the fundamental challenges our nation faces when it comes to gun violence, such as creating a universal background check system, keeping assault weapons and high-capacity magazines off our streets and out of our schools, and cracking down on the illicit straw purchases and gun thefts that help supply guns to criminals.