Press release from representative Bobby Rush, dated June 6:
“Today, U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) introduced the Blair Holt Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2018. This legislation would prohibit unlicensed gun-ownership and transferring or receiving firearms without a valid firearms license, as well as direct the Attorney General to establish and maintain a federal record of sale system.
Rush first introduced this legislation in 2007 and subsequently reintroduced it in 2009 and 2013. This bill is named after Blair Holt, a Chicago Julian High School honor student who was gunned down protecting his friend when a gunman opened fire while they were riding home from school on a crowded public transit bus.
“Americans are demanding that Congress take real action to prevent gun violence and we must address this issue head on and do our part to prevent the senseless mass killings and shooting deaths in cities across this nation,” said Rush. “I am grateful that Senator Duckworth has joined in this tireless effort to provide commonsense solutions to the epidemic of gun violence plaguing America. We cannot continue to stand by and abdicate our responsibilities to the very communities that depend on us,” said Rush.
“People are dying and Congress has not only the power, but also the duty to act by passing common-sense solutions like this one that would help prevent firearms from falling into the wrong hands,”Duckworth said. “We owe it to the countless and growing number of firearm violence victims to take action. I don’t want my daughters to have to grow up in a country that won’t protect them from firearm violence, which is why I’m proud to join Congressman Rush in this effort and we will keep pushing until all of America’s children are safe.”
Modeled in part after the Illinois Firearm Owners Identification Card (FOID) statute, the Blair Holt Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2018 would:
- Protect the public against the unreasonable risk of injury and death associated with the unrecorded sale or transfer of qualifying firearms to unlicensed individuals.
- Ensure that owners of qualifying firearms are knowledgeable in the safe use, handling, and storage of those firearms.
- Restrict the availability of qualifying firearms to criminals, children, and other persons prohibited by federal law from receiving firearms.
- Require universal background checks for all purchases or transfers of firearms.
- Facilitate the tracing of qualifying firearms used in crime by federal and state law enforcement agencies.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 315 people are shot with a gun every day in the United States. Of those injured, 93 people die.
“We must use all available resources to immediately tackle this gun violence epidemic and this legislation aims to do just that. The cost of gun violence is too high, with human life and suffering that is immeasurable — that is more than enough reason for us to enact commonsense reforms like those proposed in this bill,” said Rush.”