December 14, 2022

Duckworth Meets with Highland Park Students and Survivors


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) this week held a video call with Highland Park High School students to listen their stories about the July 4th shooting that shook their community and our nation. During the meeting, which comes during the same week as the tenth anniversary of the Sandy Hook tragedy, the Senator reiterated her commitment to passing more comprehensive gun reform, including a national assault weapons ban in order to save and protect lives.

“What the Highland Park community has gone through, what these students have gone through, is heartbreaking, senseless and not reflective of the kind of future our young people deserve,” said Senator Duckworth. “And yet, these high schoolers and their teachers still have the courage and dedication to call for more comprehensive gun reform. I was proud to meet with them, and I’m continuing to call for a national assault weapons ban so that we, as a country, can prevent this kind of horrific tragedy in the future.”

Duckworth is a fierce advocate for getting weapons of war off our streets, as well as for addressing and helping eliminate the community gun violence far too many students and families in Chicago—and in every corner of our state—suffer from regularly. Following the Highland Park Fourth of July Parade Massacre, Duckworth joined mothers from the Highland Park area, as well as survivors of Highland Park and other mass shootings like Uvalde and Parkland, at a rally on Capitol Hill to call on Congress to do more to address our nation’s senseless gun violence epidemic. That same day, Duckworth met with residents and heard their personal experiences from the shooting while they discussed additional gun safety reforms that need to be enacted to help keep our communities safe, such as ending the sale of weapons of war. Two days later, Duckworth made an impassioned call for these gun safety reforms on the Senate floor. The week after that, Duckworth also delivered opening remarks to a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing focused on protecting our communities from mass shootings where she emphasized that our nation’s gun violence epidemic is now the leading cause of death for young Americans and implored her colleagues to support additional commonsense gun safety reforms.

Duckworth supported the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which President Biden signed into law to help crack down on straw purchasing, expands background checks for buyers under 21 years of age, takes steps to close the “boyfriend loophole,” supports state red flag laws, and offers billions in funding for counseling, mental health, and trauma support for victims of gun violence. While the bipartisan legislation was a starting point for gun reform, Duckworth continues to call for additional reform, such as ending the sale of weapons of war.