Illinois lawmakers react to Orlando attacks
The Orlando attacks dominated political conversations Monday, and the Daily Herald asked local members of Congress "what specific state or federal policy proposals will you be pursuing in the coming months to try to prevent future similar acts?"
Here's what those who responded said.
U.S. Rep. Bob Dold, Kenilworth Republican:
"I have co-sponsored the Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act, which prohibits suspected terrorists from purchasing guns or explosives. Congress should immediately move forward with this common-sense proposal. To help eliminate the specific threat posed by radical Islamic terrorism, Congress must reassert leadership in the fight against ISIS by passing legislation that I co-sponsored to hold the president accountable for developing a comprehensive plan to destroy ISIS. It's also imperative that Congress act immediately to cut off sources of funding to other radical Islamic terror groups by restoring crippling sanctions and ending the Iran nuclear agreement, which shipped billions of dollars to the world's largest state sponsor of terrorism while helping finance organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah."
U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth, a Hoffman Estates Democrat:
Duckworth's staff said she has co-sponsored The Assault Weapons Ban of 2015, as well as the Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2015. Both were blocked in Congress.
U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, a Naperville Democrat:
"Anyone on the no-fly list should not be able to purchase firearms. In Congress, I have supported legislation that would make mass shootings and everyday gun violence less common. Last year, I co-sponsored the Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act of 2015. It would have expanded background checks to include gun sales at gun shows and sales conducted through the internet or classified ads. I also co-sponsored the Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act, because individuals who may be a terrorist threat should not be able to purchase firearms or explosives. I also co-sponsored the Assault Weapons Ban in 2015."
U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, Highland Park Republican:
"As we mourn the innocent lives lost in Orlando, we have the chance to keep more Americans safe without being consumed by partisan politics. Banning sales of guns and explosives to anyone on the terrorist watch list or suspected by the Justice Department of having foreign terrorist ties and pausing the Syrian refugee program until our intelligence officials can ensure the screening process are two common sense ways to give Americans confidence that Washington is listening."
U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, an Evanston Democrat:
"Jan's top priority is (to) bar individuals who are on the terror watch list and can't fly are unable to buy guns. Then she will be fighting for universal background checks, an assault weapons ban and ending the gun show loophole," a spokesman said in a statement.
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Two others did not specifically respond to the Daily Herald's question but issued other statements on the topic.
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, a Springfield Democrat:
Durbin gave a speech on the Senate floor related to calling for gun control. "We must pursue smart, common-sense reforms to keep dangerous, hateful people from getting their hands on dangerous weapons. America just suffered its deadliest mass shooting event in history -- worse than San Bernardino, worse than Newtown, worse than Virginia Tech. If there ever was a time for Congress to do its job and keep guns out of dangerous hands, it's now."
U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley, a Chicago Democrat:
Quigley pushed for the Food and Drug Administration to lift its ban on blood donations from men who have had sex with men in the past 12 months. "Tragedies like the one we witnessed in the early morning hours on Sunday show how crucial it is for FDA to develop better blood donor policies that are based on science and on individual risk factors; that don't unfairly single out one group of individuals; and that allow all healthy Americans to donate," he said in a joint statement with two other House members.