Durbin: I Want to Put the Gun Lobby on Notice

Durbin announces new efforts to address gun violence epidemic in Illinois and across the country

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] After a spike in gun deaths in Chicago over Father’s Day weekend, and just six months after the tragic shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) spoke on the United States Senate Floor regarding the continuing toll of gun violence in America.


“This past week we lost too many Americans, too many Illinoisans to gunfire. Over the weekend, at least 6 were killed and dozens more were wounded in shootings across the Chicago area,” Durbin said. “We can’t simply shrug our shoulders and say there’s nothing we can do. There is something we can do. There should be no more hiding behind these empty sham reform proposals written by the gun lobby to accomplish nothing.”


During today’s speech, Durbin commended the proactive work of state and local law enforcement to reduce gun violence – particularly in Illinois – and announced that he would be introducing legislation to support their efforts by encouraging more crime gun tracing.


Durbin also announced that he would be taking action to ensure that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has a Senate-confirmed director. Although the ATF director position began requiring Senate confirmation in 2006, both President Bush and President Obama’s nominees to the position have been blocked, and the agency has never had a Senate-confirmed director.


“The gun lobby has done everything it can to keep the ATF leaderless and weak. I want to put the gun lobby on notice: if we can’t get a Senate-confirmed Director for the ATF, then I’m going to move to bring in other federal agencies with Senate-confirmed leadership, like the Federal Bureau of Investigation, to make sure that gun laws are enforced effectively in this country.”