3-D PrinterCHICAGO– State Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago) led the General Assembly to pass a measure that was signed into law by the governor Wednesday banning the creation, sale and distribution of unserialized firearms to address the growing dangers of ghost guns and gun violence.

“Despite the adversity I faced to push this legislation through the General Assembly, I am extremely pleased to see the implementation of such instrumental legislation,” Collins said. “This new law will help protect our communities in all corners of the state, all of which can be subject to gun violence.”

Technology developments have encouraged the spread of assemble-to-shoot firearms, which pose extreme dangers to public safety. Ghost guns lack serialization and are able to skirt police investigations because of it, making their presence in communities a great threat to Illinois residents and businesses.

Though President Joe Biden has enacted a national policy that cracks down on the manufacturers of ghost guns, the language presented by Senator Collins will phase out these weapons by ensuring even individual possessors and distributors of ghost guns are held accountable to the law. This law will especially help Illinois’ vulnerable populations such as communities of color and low-income families, who often see higher rates of armed violence.

“Firearms are the most non-discriminating form of weaponry in our communities because their impact is not driven by race, status or background,” Collins said. “With the help of Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart and State Representative Kam Buckner, I was able to create and push a policy that will have lasting positive effects on the people who call this state home.”

Having taken effect immediately upon the governor’s signature, the new law requires every existing ghost gun to be serialized and imposes penalties for violations.

Senator Collins at a press conference CHICAGO– State Senator Jacqueline Collins was joined by advocates to highlight Collins’ new law –the Funeral and Burial Assistance Act –that was signed into law Tuesday.

“Every child deserves to grow up free from gun violence,” said Collins (D-Chicago). “What happened to Mychal Moultry Jr. should not have happened, but the death of children from gun violence is something that families are becoming increasingly accustomed to. We have to put a stop to it.”

The new law, previously House Bill 2985, is meant to reduce the emotional and financial burden on low-income families by paying up to $10,000 in direct payments for respectable funeral and burial services for families of children killed by gun violence. Senator Collins set out during the spring session to partner with the Strength to Love Foundation to make this assistance a reality for qualifying families. With this law, eligible families will be able to receive this aid beginning July 1, 2023.

The law helps grieving families stay afloat after fatal gun incidents by creating the Murdered Children Funeral and Burial Assistance Program, which will fund the services of funeral establishments after a family’s application for assistance is approved. This program offers an easier, more financially-effective way of receiving assistance than Illinois’ existing funeral service reimbursement process, which often leads families into overwhelming debt and extended grief. The law also includes language that ensures all families of child victims get fair consideration for funding by not automatically preventing them from being awarded because of a child’s criminal background.

“Losing a young child to gun violence is among the most horrific tragedy a family could experience,” said President and Founder of the Strength to Love Foundation Dr. Dave Nayak. “This law provides a light for those families during the darkest times in their lives.”

Collins’ law will help address the public health crisis of gun violence and support the growing number of families devastated by its negative impacts.

State Senator CollinsSPRINGFIELD– State Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago) issued the following statement after the measure she supported banning public high schools from withholding transcripts and diplomas due to unpaid balances on a student’s account became law Wednesday:

“The value of our students should not be determined by the money they owe to their institutions, which is exactly what the practice of withholding students’ records due to an unpaid balance would suggest. Students are deserving of the documentation that shows they have completed their established requisites, and not having access to these records can interrupt a student’s learning path by blocking opportunities to higher education and job entry.”

“These kinds of insidious practices often occur without any state or federal mandate and primarily affect low-income and underserved students who struggle to pay these debts because of financial instability, making this an issue of equity. Continuing to allow a person’s pursuit of a stable future to be derailed by these expenses, which can be as low as $25, would be a great disservice to students, institutions and local economies alike.”

With this new law that took effect immediately, Illinois joins the ranks of few states, including California, Washington and Louisiana, taking a firm stance against barriers inhibiting students’ journeys toward success and personal security.

Senator Collins at a Press ConferenceSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago) issued the following statement Tuesday in response to the leaked draft opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down the landmark Roe v. Wade (1973) decision:

“I want to make this very clear: this proclamation is a vicious, deliberate attack on women –on poor women, on women of color, and on young women. The future we feared is here, and now is the time for clarity, intention and action. The highest court in the land is saying to women, ’You have no power.’ The highest court in the land is saying to women, ’You have no value.’ The highest court in the land is wrong, and we here in Illinois will stand for equity. We here in Illinois will always protect the reproductive freedoms of Illinoisans.”

“Today, that is not enough. In 2019, more than 7,000 non-residents came to our state to obtain legal, safe abortions –more than two times the number of women who sought refuge in 2014. We need more than just in-state protections. We must speak to the women of our nation sitting at home right now, paralyzed by pure terror. Here and now, let us reassure them that the state of Illinois will remain a beacon of hope. Illinois will not fail them.”

“When a woman comes to us, she will be safe. She will be welcomed, and she will have the freedom to make decisions about her own body without a court that has no compassion, no vision, no sense of true justice, smashing her right to choose. The nation –the world –is watching us. What we do next will have ripple effects on the rights of women, people of color, and queer people. History is depending on us to balance the scale of justice for our fellow Americans. May we live up to Illinois’ legacy of morality, freedom and liberty.”

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Chicago Office:
1155 W. 79th St.
Chicago, IL 60620
(773) 224-2830

Springfield Office:
M114 Capitol
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-1607