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posted: 5/13/2013 5:00 AM

Sensible reforms for gun laws needed

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Upset about U.S. Senate's inability to pass background checks? Guess what our suburban legislators are supporting in Springfield.

I am part of a group of suburban residents, primarily parents of young children, who were shocked by the Sandy Hook tragedy on December 14 and further upset to learn that on average eight children are killed daily from guns in America. We heard that Illinois has "strong gun laws," but as we became more informed, we were surprised at the current state of local gun laws and the staggering level of gun crimes.

Did you know that private and Internet sales of firearms do not require a background check in Illinois? Our group began meeting with suburban legislators to ask them to support legislation that would keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. Our representatives made statements like, "How could you expect a gun owner to know whether a gun has been stolen from their house. Some gun owners own so many guns -- would you know what specific toy was missing if someone broke into your house?" And, "Why should a neighbor have to go through a background check to borrow their friend's gun?'" And, "Sometimes polls don't represent what's best for the public." And, "Don't you know anyone in Southern Illinois?"

We leave these meetings shaking our heads, wondering, "These are our suburban legislators? Are they representing us, or someone else?"

Right now Illinois legislators are crafting a law to allow people to carry concealed weapons outside their homes. They need to hear from us, urging them to support our interests, and common sense gun safety laws, such as local concealed carry permitting, background checks for all gun purchases, and reporting lost or stolen guns. Please go to to find your representatives and call them today.

Steve Hill

La Grange

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