Group rallies online for stricter gun purchasing laws

Published: May. 7, 2020 at 2:23 PM CDT
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The Gun Violence Prevention PAC hosted an online rally for gun law reform in Illinois. The event would typically take place in Springfield, but due to stay-at-home orders it turned into a digital day of action.

"If we just change the hearts and minds of the population it'll make a difference," says G-PAC Founder Tom Vanden Berk. "I've learned it's not enough."

Vanden Berk lost his son to gun violence. He was shot dead in Chicago at 15 years old. "But that's what brings me [today], that's what motivates me," he says.

In April, 57 people died by gun violence in Chicago, and less than a week ago a 24 year old was shot in Rockford.

The digital day of action is designed to push forth a bill called the Block Illegal Gun Ownership, or BIO. The bill would require all gun sales in Illinois to have background checks. It passed in the IL House in 2019.

"We're waiting especially on the Senate to work quickly, to protect us and pass this policy which would finally enact universal background check in all sales," says Kathleen Sances, President at G-PAC. "We feel that allows a lot of guns to flow into the secondary market, and we can't trace them."

In order to obtain a FOID card (firearm owner identification) which allows you to purchase a gun, you do need a background check. FOID cards expire every 10 years in Illinois.

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