Durbin Discusses Gun Violence Prevention With Illinois Physicians From March Fourth

CHICAGO – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today met with Illinois-based physicians representing March Fourth, a gun violence prevention organization that was founded in the aftermath of the July 4, 2022, Highland Park shooting.  During their meeting, Durbin and the physicians discussed garnering support for an assault weapons ban and how the federal government can use public health approaches to reduce gun violence. 

“What happened last year as families in Highland Park gathered to celebrate the Fourth of July is nothing short of an atrocity.  That gunman, who shot off more than 80 rounds in 60 seconds, destroyed families, paralyzed children, and scarred a community for a lifetime,”Durbin said.  “My heart still aches for Highland Park, and we must seek pathways to preventing the next heartbreaking shooting.  I spoke with Illinois-based physicians associated with March Fourth today about how we can build support in Congress for an assault weapons ban and how we can take steps to address gun violence as a major public health threat.” 

A photo of today’s meeting is available here.

As Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Durbin recently held a hearing on the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen.  In his time as Chair, the Judiciary Committee has held 12 hearings about commonsense steps to reduce gun violence, including a hearing centered on the mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois.

Last Congress, Durbin was a strong supporter of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which cracks down on straw purchasing, expands background checks for buyers under 21 years of age, takes steps to close the “boyfriend loophole,” supports state red flag laws, and offers billions in funding for counseling, mental health, and trauma support for victims of gun violence. While the bipartisan legislation was an important step forward for gun safety reform, Durbin is also a staunch advocate for the assault weapons ban and additional gun safety measures.