Firearm Safety and Reform Working Group
Gun violence has reached epidemic proportions in Illinois. Every year, thousands of lives are tragically cut short and countless communities are scarred by the fallout from the spread of these terrible crimes. In counties across the state, the rate of lives lost to gun violence continues to grow.
- In 2019, Illinois lost 791 lives to firearm homicides, over 80% of total homicides that occurred that year.
- Gun violence is the leading cause of death for children in Illinois, with an average of 183 children and teens dying every year since 2018.
- Between 2014 and 2018, the CDC reported an average of 537 gun suicides in Illinois, or roughly 1 every 17 hours.
- Between 2014 and 2018, the CDC reported 66 Illinois women were fatally shot by an intimate partner.
- On July 4th, Highland Park saw one of the worst mass shootings in history, with 7 people killed and 46 wounded.
- This is a statewide problem, with the top 5 counties for per capita gun deaths ranging from Winnebago and Cook counties in the North, to St. Clair, Clark and Massac counties in the South.
- The National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund reported 62 police officers killed by gunfire in 2021, a 36% increase from 2020.
Please Check Back Later, updates from the working group will be posted here
Representative Morgan is the chair of the House Firearm Safety and Reform Working Group. A working group is a collection of lawmakers selected by the Speaker of the House for their expertise on a given subject to address a legislative goal related to that subject. In this case, Speaker Welch has entrusted Rep. Morgan and other members with recommending legislation to crack down on gun violence in Illinois. Under Rep. Morgan’s leadership, the group will hear from gun violence experts and stakeholders, build consensus, and advance impactful reforms.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Who are the members of the working group?
The Firearm Safety and Reform Working Group members are:
Chair: Representative Bob Morgan
Members: Representatives La Shawn Ford, Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz, Barbara Hernandez, Jay Hoffman, Kathleen Willis, Lance Yednock, Maura Hirschauer, Nick Smith, Denyse Stoneback, Sonya Harper
How does a working group function in the House of Representatives?
The Speaker of the House selects a group of lawmakers with expertise on a given subject to find legislative solutions that address a goal related to that subject. In this case, Speaker Welch has entrusted Rep. Morgan and other members with recommending legislation to crack down on gun violence in Illinois.
What are the goals of the working group?
A successful conclusion to the working group will be proposing impactful legislation that curbs gun violence in Illinois. There is a long list of legislation to look at to directly recommend or incorporate into new policy proposals. The group will revise and narrow this with stakeholder testimony and internal debate.
Will the working group address the July 4th shooting in Highland Park?
The working group is absolutely committed to legislation that prevents tragedies like the July 4th shooting from happening again. No person, family, or community should ever have to live with the terrible scars that the residents of Highland Park are now enduring.
What is the timeline for the working group?
Members of the Firearm Safety and Reform Working Group are working hard to rapidly produce concrete legislative recommendations for their colleagues in the House of Representatives. However, timely action won’t come at the expense of a comprehensive deliberation process in which stakeholders and experts from all parts of the ideological spectrum are heard from. As a result, the group is not restricted to any set timeline.
Will there be an assault weapons ban?
House Bill 5522, the proposed assault weapons ban, is one of many legislative solutions that is under consideration. The goal of the working group is to combat the gun violence pandemic in Illinois, and no legislation that pursues that goal is off limits.
News and Updates
Rep Morgan’s statement on being named Chair of the Firearm Safety and Reform Working Group
“Just over two weeks ago, my community faced a horror that forever changed the lives of all of us at the Highland Park Fourth of July Parade. Our community had the strength to meet the moment, grieve, and recover to build a better world. Now, it’s time to act and I look forward to chairing the House Firearm Safety Reform Working Group to fulfill their mission, said Rep. Bob Morgan.
State Rep. Bob Morgan To Chair Illinois House Gun Safety Working Group
HIGHLAND PARK, IL — As Illinois state lawmakers pledged to consider legislation aimed at addressing gun violence, Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch on Monday appointed a dozen Democratic state representatives to a new gun safety working group.