In 5th Congressional District race, Quigley and Hanson differ on gun control

Editor's note: Tommy Hanson is making his fourth bid for Congress. He ran and lost in 2008, 2018 and 2020.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley and Republican challenger Tommy Hanson have dramatically different stances on gun control.

Quigley and Hanson, both of Chicago, are seeking to represent the largely suburban 5th District in the U.S. House. They talked about gun violence and possible legislative options in questionnaires for the Daily Herald.

Noting that mass shootings are largely an American phenomenon, the Daily Herald asked the candidates what Congress should do about the problem.

Quigley, who has represented the 5th District since 2009, touted his recent vote for the $13 billion Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the most significant federal gun violence prevention law since the early 1990s.

That legislation, signed by President Joe Biden in June, toughens background checks for younger gun buyers, prevents more domestic abusers from legally buying guns, helps local authorities temporarily take weapons from dangerous people and boosts mental health programs, among other elements.

But the law doesn't go far enough, Quigley said. Congress should pass a new ban on military-style weapons, he said, Such a ban was enacted in 1994 and expired in 2004.

"Getting these weapons off our streets can, at the very least, decrease the number of deaths we see in these horrific attacks," he said.

Quigley also supports universal background checks on would-be gun buyers. Additionally, he believes Congress should take steps to stop interstate gun trafficking.

"States like Illinois are routinely impacted by lax gun laws in neighboring states," Quigley said. "The interstate gun trade is responsible for many of the illegal guns used in Chicago."

Hanson, a commercial real estate broker making his fourth bid for Congress, mentioned that mass shootings occur across the globe, not just in the U.S. Many are the acts of copycats are inspired by "the sensationalism the media brings," he said,

After suggesting mental illness also is a factor in such shootings, Hanson said taking guns from law-abiding citizens is not the right answer. He didn't suggest any legislative solutions and declined to elaborate on his answers when asked.

Quigley defeated Hanson in 2018 and 2020. Hanson lost to Democrat Rahm Emanuel in 2008.

The 5th District was enlarged ahead of this election to include more of the Northwest suburbs and fewer neighborhoods in the West suburbs. It cuts diagonally through Cook and Lake counties between Chicago's North Side and the Barrington area.

Election Day is Nov. 8.

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