Policy Agenda Item 1

Adopt and implement evidence-based, trauma-informed gun violence prevention policies that reduce access to illegal firearms and keep our communities safe.

Each year, over 2,500 children die and nearly 6,000 are treated for gunshot wounds in the U.S. – equivalent to 19 child gunshot victims treated in emergency departments every day. Nationwide, nearly 1 in every 20 children has witnessed a shooting in the past year. The availability of guns also greatly increases the risk of suicide—nearly two-thirds of all gun fatalities are suicides. In Illinois, gun injuries are the leading cause of death among children 1-19 years old.

Reducing firearm-related injuries and fatalities requires a comprehensive approach to violence prevention. The public health approach recognizes that violence is preventable and that the response to violence must be a multi-tiered and interdisciplinary approach, involving coordinating with stakeholders from diverse sectors, including public agencies, and community-based organizations, to prevent violence on all levels (primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention). A public health approach takes four concrete steps. First, define the problem. Second, identify risk factors and protective factors for violence in the population. Third, develop, implement, and evaluate interventions to reduce risk factors and maximize protective factors. Finally, after evaluation, data collection, and analysis, institutionalize and disseminate successful strategies.

State, local and national policies must be designed to address the underlying causes and risk factors for becoming a victim or perpetrator of gun violence as well as developing programs and policies that mitigate the effects of trauma at the individual and community level when violence occurs. Reducing gun violence also requires common sense gun safety measures that include regulating the sale of guns, reducing illegal trafficking of firearms, and keeping high-risk individuals from possessing guns. In addition, a comprehensive approach must address the lack of research on gun violence and the need to increase support for research at the state, local, and national level. Promising practices in states like California and Washington demonstrate the policy levers to fill the void in research on the causes and consequences of gun injuries and fatalities.

  • Policymakers can enact and enforce gun violence prevention policies that have been shown to make a difference, including anti-trafficking laws and enforcement measures and evidence-based approaches to keep guns from dangerous people.
  • As individuals, if you must keep a gun in your home, store it unloaded and locked up with a trigger lock or in a gun safe, with the ammunition locked up separately. Join the Illinois Gun Violence Prevention Coalition (ILGVP) and learn more or volunteer through the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence.

Fix the FOID

The Fix the FOID Act (Senate Bill 1966) is close to the finish line. SB 1966 passed the Illinois House is in the Senate. Please contact your State Senator TODAY and urge them to support Fix the FOID.

  • SB 1966 is an important gun violence prevention bill that:
  • Requires a background check for all gun sales (including those by a private seller)
  • Requires FOID applicants to submit fingerprints as part of their application
  • Reduces the FOID card duration from 10 years to 5 years
  • Strengthens the concealed carry license process



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