Durbin Statement On Biden Administration's Gun Crime Prevention Strategy

WASHINGTON  U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement on President Biden’s Gun Crime Prevention Strategy:

“Too many Chicagoans endure the daily stress and fear of gunfire, and too many Monday mornings start with devastating news headlines of the weekend’s toll of shootings in our streets and neighborhoods.  This violence is heartbreaking, traumatic, and impacting innocent families and children.  Addressing the gun violence epidemic will take community-based efforts and stricter enforcement of gun laws.  I agree with President Biden’s approach. 

“I’ve asked Governor Pritzker to use American Rescue Plan funds to support targeted violence intervention efforts.  The Senate Judiciary Committee will also continue to examine proposals to reduce the unacceptably high levels of shootings, and work to confirm the President’s nominee to lead ATF and enforce the gun laws on the books. 

“Senseless violence, and the trauma it leaves behind, fuels the cycle of gun crime in our cities.  Congress has to invest in community-based prevention efforts and pass common sense bills that help our cities heal, get illegal guns off the streets, and keep our kids and grandkids safe.”

On Tuesday, Durbin, along with U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), sent a letter to Illinois Governor JB Pritzker urging him to consider a few key principles to help guide the State’s use of approximately $125 million in federal funds from the American Rescue Plan for violence prevention and youth employment programs.

In 2018, Durbin and ten of the major hospitals serving Chicago launched the Chicago HEAL Initiative, an innovative, collaborative effort where these health systems have teamed up on 16 public commitments to harness their economic footprint, clinical health expertise, and community engagement to address the root causes of violence and health inequity.   Durbin has also introduced bipartisan legislation to increase support for children who have been exposed to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and trauma, including witnessing community violence, parental addiction, or abuse.