WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today met with members of Highland Park Strong, an organization started by high school students following the mass shooting at the Highland Park 4th of July parade where seven community members were killed and 48 people were injured. During their meeting, Durbin and the students discussed gun safety reform, including banning assault weapons from civilian use.
“After the July 4th mass shooting, Highland Park will never be the same. Families are left to grieve their loved ones and grow up without parents, siblings, or grandparents. The community will be emotionally burdened for years to come,” said Durbin. “I’m grateful that in the midst of this grief, students like those in Highland Park Strong are continuing to advocate for their community, provide support for the survivors, and push for gun safety reforms that will help prevent future tragedies. I will continue to do everything I can to pass gun violence prevention policies like an assault weapons ban that will help keep our children and our communities safe.”
Photos of the meeting can be found here.
On July 20, Durbin held a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing entitled “After the Highland Park Attack: Protecting Our Communities from Mass Shootings.” The hearing – one of 11 hearings the Judiciary Committee held in the 117th Congress on aspects of the nation’s gun violence epidemic – focused on the dangers of widespread civilian access to military-style assault weapons that can be used to kill large numbers of people in mere seconds.
Durbin was a strong supporter of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which cracks down on straw purchasing, expands background checks for buyers under 21 years of age, takes steps to close the “boyfriend loophole,” supports state red flag laws, and offers billions in funding for counseling, mental health, and trauma support for victims of gun violence. While the bipartisan legislation was a starting point for gun reform, Durbin is an advocate of the Assault Weapons Ban of 2021.