U.S. Senator Dick Durbin: What These Executive Actions Actually Do: Sign The Petition

Like an overwhelming majority of Americans, I’m frustrated by Washington’s inaction on common sense reforms to our gun laws. Last year alone, 2,939 people were shot in Chicago — and an estimated 30,000 people were killed by firearms nationwide. It’s an epidemic. We’ve got to do something.
For that very reason, I applaud the actions President Obama has taken today to reduce gun violence. They won’t solve all the problems we’re facing, but they will help keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals. Can you add your name to my petition today thanking President Obama for taking action to reform our nation’s broken gun laws?
Before the gun lobby, and sadly my Republican colleagues, have a chance to twist the facts about the President’s executive actions, I want you to know the truth. These actions do not take away the rights of anyone to own a gun. In fact, these actions ensure our Second Amendment rights are protected as we keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people.
What these actions actually do:
  • Clarify existing laws to ensure all gun dealers — including those who sell online — obtain a dealer license and conduct background checks.
  • Hire more personnel to process background checks in a timely manner. This could have prevented, for example, the tragic Charleston mass shooting last year.
  • Direct government officials to conduct research about how to prevent gun violence.
  • Encourage more domestic violence prosecutions. This way, fewer domestic abusers will be able to hurt their partners with guns and other dangerous weapons.
  • Make it easier for states to provide mental health information to the background check system, which would prevent unstable individuals from purchasing guns.
  • Make sure that guns that are lost or stolen while being shipped are promptly reported to law enforcement.
Like I said, these reforms will not prevent every shooting — but they are a big step forward in the fight to fix our broken gun laws and save lives. I am encouraged by these actions and hope that we can add to them in the next year with congressional action. Let’s come together in the next year and work to build on the progress President Obama has made here today.
Best wishes,
Dick Durbin
U.S. Senator