The 2016 election is only a few days away and while everyone knows the presidential candidates’ stances on guns, for many the state elections, which can cause affect laws in each individual state just as much, if not more than the presidency. We here at USA Firearm Training believe that a well-informed populace is a strong one, so we are going to be sharing with you the Senate race in Illinois and the stances of the candidates on guns, to give each of you a better idea where they stand.
Illinois’ 2016 Senate race pits incumbent Republican Senator Mark Kirk against Democratic challenger Tammy Duckworth.
Mark Kirk has been a Senator since 2010 following a 9-year stint as a congressman in the House of Representatives, representing Illinois’ 10th District. While his challenger, Tammy Duckworth, has been in the House of Representatives since 2013 and before that was the Assistant Secretary of Veteran Affairs.
Currently, Duckworth holds a 9 point lead in an average of polls throughout the state.
Now let’s take a look at the candidates’ stances on gun control based off of their own voting history as well as quotes directly from the candidates.
Mark Kirk has been rated F by the NRA, indicating that he is a “true enemy” of gun owners’ rights. A consistent anti-gun candidate.
Kirk signed H.R.2324 & S.843 Which was the bill attempting to close the gun show “loophole”, making it unlawful for any person to operate a gun show unless such person:
- has attained 21 years of age;
- is not prohibited from transporting, shipping, or receiving firearms and has not violated any federal firearms requirements;
- has registered with the Attorney General as a gun show operator and has provided a photograph and fingerprints;
- has not concealed material information nor made false statements in connection with a gun show operator registration; and
- notifies the Attorney General of the date, time, and duration of a gun show not later than 30 days before the commencement of such show and verifies the identity of each vendor at the gun show.
The bill imposes recordkeeping requirements on gun show operators and criminal penalties for failure to register as a gun show operator and maintain required records. Increases criminal penalties for serious recordkeeping violations and violations of criminal background check requirements. Authorizes the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to hire additional investigators to carry out inspections of gun shows.
Kirk also voted yes on prohibiting suing gunmakers & sellers for gun misuse.
This was a vote to pass a bill that would prohibit liability lawsuits from being brought against gun manufacturers and dealers based on the criminal misuse of firearms. The bill would also block these actions from being brought up against gun trade organizations and against ammunition makers and sellers. The measure would apply immediately to any pending cases. Several specific exceptions to the ban exist. This includes civil suits would be allowed against a maker or dealer who “knowingly and willfully violated” state or federal laws in the selling or marketing of a weapon. Design and manufacturing defect lawsuits are also permitted when weapons are “used as intended”.
Tammy Duckworth has also has been rated F by the NRA, indicating that she is a “true enemy” of gun owners’ rights and a consistent anti-gun candidate.
Duckworth supports restricting the second amendment, according to the Christian Coalition Voters Guide question on the Second Amendment. The Christian Coalition publishes a number of special voter education materials including the Christian Coalition Voter Guides, which provide voters with critical information about where candidates stand on important faith and family issues. The Christian Coalition Voters Guide summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: “Further restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms”
Duckworth has also been staunchly pro-gun control in her own letters to her constituents. She is quoted as saying: “My first State of the Union guest as a Member of Congress was Denise Reed, a Chicago mother who lost her daughter, a 14-year old honor roll student named Starkesia, to gun violence.
That was in 2013, not long after the tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. It’s unconscionable that now, nearly 3 years later and with far too many more lives lost, Congress still has yet to pass gun safety legislation.
A group of Democratic Senators are renewing the push for reform by introducing new common-sense legislation to prevent gun violence. Tell Congress it’s time to act.