Durbin Calls For Action On Gun Reform At Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing On Protecting Women From Gun Violence

Senator recognizes witness Elvin Daniel of McHenry, Illinois who testified in support of sensible gun safety laws

[WASHINGTON, DC] – During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on protecting women from gun violence, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin thanked Elvin Daniel, of McHenry, Illinois, who testified in support of common sense gun reform legislation. Daniel’s sister, Zina, was shot and killed by her estranged and abusive husband in Wisconsin in 2012. The restraining order placed on Zina’s husband did not stop him from purchasing a weapon through an internet site, where he was not subject to a background check. Daniel is a member of the National Rifle Association and describes himself as a Constitutional Conservative. During his testimony, he called for common sense gun safety measures that would close loopholes in the background check system and prohibit dangerous people and domestic abusers from obtaining firearms. A copy of Daniel’s written testimony is available HERE.

“I want especially to recognize the attendance of Mr. Elvin Daniel who is a resident of Illinois and will tell us the sad story of his sister. Mr. Daniel makes a declaration early in his statement that he is conservative constitutionalist and member of the NRA. He still comes to us today asking for protection for women like his sister,” Durbin said.


“It’s sad to comment that in this day of age that this is one of the few hearings on the subject of gun safety. It’s been over a year since we seriously debated this matter on the floor of the United States Senate while gun violence perpetrated by criminals and facilitated by straw purchasers continues. Thank you for calling it to our attention today,” Durbin said.

Footage of Durbin remarks at the hearing is available for TV Stations using FTP in high definition here and in standard definition here.


Audio of Durbin’s remarks at the hearing is available here.


Video of Durbin’s remarks and questions to Elvin Daniel at the hearing is available here.


Video of Durbin’s remarks and questions to Dr. Jacquelyn Campbell and Dr. Joyce Lee Malcolm is available here


Today, Durbin met with the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence and other gun safety groups to discuss gun safety issues. A photo of today’s meeting is available HERE.

Durbin has been one of the leaders in introducing common-sense gun reform and safety legislation. Last month, he joined U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Edward Markey (D-MA), Patty Murray (D-WA) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to introduce the Lori Jackson Domestic Violence Survivor Protection Act, a bill that would protect domestic violence survivors from gun violence by preventing an individual subject to a temporary restraining order from purchasing or possessing a firearm for the duration of the order. The bill was named after Lori Jackson, a Connecticut resident who was shot and killed by her husband after obtaining a temporary restraining order against him. Current federal law protects domestic violence survivors from gun violence by preventing their abusers from purchasing or possessing a firearm – but only once the court has issued a permanent restraining order. This leaves survivors unprotected exactly when they are in the most danger: when a domestic abuser first learns his or her victim has left and only a temporary restraining order is in place.

Also in June, Durbin introduced an amendment that would strengthen federal criminal penalties for straw purchasers and illegal traffickers of firearms. Much of the gun violence in Chicago involves guns that were straw purchased – when an individual with a clean background buys a gun for someone who is prohibited from obtaining one – or illegally trafficked into criminals’ hands. Under the amendment, if a person straw purchases a gun or transfers a gun to someone else knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that the gun will be used to commit a crime of violence, that person will face up to 15 years in federal prison. Video of Durbin’s statement on the Senate Floor is available HERE.