Government

Will County representatives vote for background checks for all gun sales

Proponents of ‘commonsense’ reforms point to instances of gun violence in northern Illinois

Both Democrats and a Republican representing Will County in Congress supported legislation to expand background checks on all gun sales.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed two bills last Thursday to require a background check for every gun sale or transfer and to close a “loophole” which allows for the sale of a firearm if a background check is not completed within three business day, according to a news release.

Rep. Bill Foster, D-Naperville, called the changes “commonsense” and cited gun violence near his district as an example of what the bill aim to prevent.

“The gun violence epidemic exacts a deadly toll across our country,” Foster said in a statement. “Mass shootings like Henry Pratt in Aurora, and the tragic drumbeat of individual shootings that take the lives of an average of 100 Americans each day, are a constant reminder of the need to keep guns out of the hands of those who should not have them.”

Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Naperville, argued that gun violence is a public health epidemic. She said she’s heard from constituents about how it’s affected their lives.

“Whether it’s at school, work, a concert, a place of worship, or their own home, no person in this country should live in fear of gun violence,” she said in a statement.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Channahon, who himself owns a firearm, also supported the legislation. He argued in a statement that while he was a “strong supporter of the Second Amendment,” he has long believed that background checks are “critical to keeping firearms out of the wrong hands.”

“I firmly believe in the right to keep and bear arms, legally,” Kinzinger said in the statement. “I’m also a strong advocate for conceal carry, and have permits myself to do so. But we have a violence problem in this country and it cannot be ignored.”

He added that after the mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, in 2019, he publicly said that legislation on the expansion of background checks should come before Congress and that he would vote for it.