Gun Violence Prevention

2022-02-08_lh_0234 (1)

Gun violence claims the lives of 30,000 Americans every year and is currently the leading cause of death among children. Mass shootings have plagued our schools and our communities and too many loved ones have been taken due to guns. 

Now more than ever, it's time for Congress to act. Rep. Casten supports sensible gun control measures including strengthening background checks and banning assault weapons.

Strengthening Background Checks

Representative Casten firmly believes in strengthening background checks. Federal law prohibits certain individuals, including those with felony convictions, domestic abusers, and people who have been involuntarily committed to mental hospitals, from possessing firearms. Rep. Casten cosponsored H.R. 8 in the 117th Congress, legislation to ensure background checks for all gun sales to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people.

Banning Assault Weapons

Weapons designed for war should be held by those in the military not for civilians. Rep. Casten supports banning semi-automatic weapons with military-style features and is a cosponsor of H.R. 1296 in the 117th Congress, which bans assault weapons.

End Gun Trafficking

While Illinois has taken steps in its state government to prevent gun violence, these efforts are often undermined by weak gun laws in neighboring states like Indiana and Wisconsin.

In Illinois in 2019, guns trafficked across state lines comprise about 63% of the total number of illegally possessed guns. Theft is a significant avenue through which these illegally possessed firearms are diverted from lawful commerce and ownership into criminal hands. The primary source of stolen firearms is theft from private citizens' vehicles, homes, and persons. While more than 95% of stolen guns originate via thefts from private citizens, federal laws and most states do not require private individuals to report the theft of a firearm.

Rep. Casten introduced the Gun Trafficker Detection Act with Rep. Robin Kelly, which prevents further trafficking of illegal guns and decreases the number of violent crimes involving guns by requiring gun owners to report if their gun is lost or stolen.