SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today expressed his disappointment with members of the Illinois House of Representatives who voted against House Bill 4393, which would help curb illegal gun trafficking by limiting gun purchases to one a month. The measure failed 53-60, but was placed on postponed consideration so it can be called for a vote again later. After the vote, the Governor met with Father Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina and dozens of Chicago Public School students who traveled to Springfield today to help lobby in support of the bill.
“We’ve already lost over twenty Chicago students to shootings this school year. Parents, friends and neighbors are crying out to their elected leaders for help. How many more children have to die before lawmakers pass legislation that will save lives and keep guns out of the wrong hands?” asked the Governor. “Today’s House vote is a big disappointment to everyone involved in the fight against gun violence. But we won’t give up, we’ll keep lobbying and pushing lawmakers to take action. The young lives at stake are too important to forget.”
HB 4393, sponsored by Rep. Luis Arroyo (D-Chicago), is aimed at reducing gun trafficking by preventing bulk-purchases of handguns. The legislation applies only to handguns; hunters and sportsmen that purchase and use shotguns and rifles are not affected.
Research has shown that limiting handgun purchases to no more than one per month can reduce interstate gun trafficking. Gun traffickers often buy firearms in bulk, then turn around and sell them on the street. Studies show that handguns sold in bulk sales to the same individual purchaser are frequently used in crime. A study of ATF crime gun trace data revealed that 22% of all handguns recovered in crime had been transferred to a purchaser as part of a multiple sale.
Since September, 21 Chicago Public Schools students have been killed, 20 by gunfire. Last school year, 24 of the more than 30 students killed were shot to death, compared with between 10 and 15 fatal shootings in the years before.