WESTCHESTER, IL – State Rep. Chris Welch (D-Hillside) announced, Tuesday, that he is joining Lt. Governor Sheila Simon’s Firearms Working Group, a bipartisan effort to find common ground on the issue of gun control.
“I look forward to working with the Firearms Working Group and having open discussions on gun control to address the pressing concern of gun violence, while also protecting the constitutional rights of Illinoisans,” Welch said. “We must find a solution to get assault weapons out of the hands of killers and off of our streets. Our children should have the freedom to walk to school and play outside without the threat of being shot. I also understand that every gun owner is not a criminal, and law-abiding citizens should not face penalties because of the actions of a few. This will not be an easy discussion to have and there is no easy solution, but it is our responsibility to find compromise for the sake of the children and families throughout the state.”
The group plans to meet with stakeholders on all sides of the issue to work toward consensus on pending legislation. Meetings will be held throughout the state where members will meet with residents and interested parties, including gun owners, mental health experts, law enforcement and families impacted by gun violence. Members will also have the opportunity to learn how to safely operate a firearm at the Sparta World Shooting Complex.
“State leaders need to engage in honest discussion about concealed carry, but it is difficult to have that honest discussion without fully understanding all the perspectives on gun issues,” said Simon, a former Jackson County prosecutor and law professor. “By bringing together new members to learn about deeply held – often regional – perspectives, I believe can set fair policies for the state and keep guns from falling into the wrong hands."
Welch represents the 7th District which includes all or portion of Bellwood, Berkley, Broadview, Forest Park, Hillside, La Grange Park, Maywood, Melrose Park, Northlake, River Forest, Westchester and Western Springs. For more information, contact Welch’s constituent service office at (708) 450-1000 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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