Durbin Statement On Illegally Purchased Gun Used To Kill CPD Officer French

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released the following statement regarding charges that the gun used to kill Chicago Police Department Officer Ella French this weekend was bought in a straw purchase by an Indiana man on behalf of another man who had a felony record and could not buy a gun for himself:

“The news that Officer French was killed and her partner wounded by a straw purchased Indiana handgun is infuriating.  I have been pushing for stronger penalties against these straw purchases for years.  The gun dealers who make their profits from these deadly transactions have fought our efforts while their political fans mock Chicago’s efforts to monitor gun sales.  We have lost one of Chicago’s best to this disgusting enterprise.

“I am writing to Attorney General Merrick Garland today calling on the Department of Justice’s Chicago firearms trafficking Strike Force to commit to a coordinated investigation and prosecution effort against these straw purchases immediately.”

Durbin is a lead sponsor of federal legislation to combat straw purchasing and illegal trafficking in firearms in order to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals.  The Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act of 2021 would, for the first time, make it an explicit federal crime to act as a straw purchaser of firearms.  The bill would also create penalties for anyone who transfers a firearm with reasonable cause to believe that it will be used in a drug crime, crime of violence, or act of terrorism.