Civil Rights, Criminal Justice Reform and Gun Safety

Senator Duckworth spent 23 years in the Reserve Forces defending and supporting American values, including the civil rights of all Americans that have helped our people build the greatest nation the world has ever seen. She knows that while we have made great strides towards justice throughout our nation’s history, too many Americans continue to face harmful discrimination because of their age, the color of their skin, their disability or the person they love. Senator Duckworth is committed to advancing policies to protect Americans from discrimination in all areas of society. 

Senator Duckworth believes our nation's complex criminal justice system must be reformed and that Congress has an important role to play in restoring trust between law enforcement and local communities. She introduced legislation to require independent and impartial investigations into law enforcement officials’ use of deadly force and has been a strong advocate for comprehensive sentencing reform, “ban the box” initiatives and Federal investments in additional training for law enforcement. She has also been a leader in efforts to bring more fairness to the prison video visitation and inmate calling services systems that make it harder for families to maintain contact with incarcerated relatives, something that studies show can reduce recidivism rates and save taxpayer dollars while producing better outcomes for everyone. 

In the wake of daily gun violence in our communities and increasingly-frequent mass shooting incidents, Senator Duckworth believes Congress has a responsibility to do more than send thoughts and prayers.  As a combat Veteran who grew up in a family of marksmen, she knows our nation can do more to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals while protecting Second Amendment rights. She supports common-sense legislation to curb gun violence, including establishing universal background checks, closing the gun show loophole, cracking down on gun trafficking and straw purchasers, banning assault weapons that are more suited for war than for civilian use, limiting the sale of high-capacity magazines and bump stocks that increase the number of people an active shooter can kill or injure in a short period of time and ensuring that individuals on the terrorist watch-list are not able to purchase weapons legally.