State Senator Jacqueline Collins on the Senate FloorSPRINGFIELD –Illinois Senate Democrats will outline a plan to crack down on the growing threat of unserialized firearms with legislation banning the production and distribution of “ghost guns”–a measure filed by State Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago).

“My commitment to banning ghost guns and reducing violence in our state has not been, nor will it be, hindered by any obstacle, legislative or otherwise,” Collins said. “So long as we allow fatal gun violence to run rampant in our communities, we leaders do a disservice to the people we represent, and it is my goal to assure the state is tackling these issues at their source.”
With the alarming rise of gun violence in a number of Illinois communities, the existence of untraceable firearms has become a pressing public safety concern. Ghost guns are firearms that lack serial identification, and they are growing in popularity because of their ease of accessibility. Not only can they be ordered online, but they can also be purchased absent a background check or a FOID card, which is required to carry either a firearm or ammunition in Illinois.

House Bill 4383, an initiative introduced by Senator Collins, would require all firearms –including 3D printed guns –to be serialized, effectively prohibiting the creation and sale of these weapons. Unserialized guns prevent law enforcement from thoroughly conducting their criminal investigations, which hinders their efforts to address the violence in our state. Illinois law enforcement has seen a 400% increase in these types of weapons in just the last five years.

“Our communities have become too accustomed to the tragedies of fatal gun violence,” Collins said. “Protecting our most vulnerable populations requires initiatives like this that stop the proliferation of deadly weapons, prevent crime and support people as they navigate through adverse circumstances.”

This initiative is especially pertinent for communities of color and low-income populations, which typically experience higher rates of armed violence than other communities. HB 4383 passed the General Assembly and goes to the governor for final approval.

Senator Collins on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD – Illinois families who lose children to gun violence will have an opportunity to receive funding for respectable funeral and burial services thanks to a measure sponsored by State Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago).

“The growing problem of gun violence in our communities means there is a growing number of families devastated by its negative impacts,” Collins said. “To support them through unimaginable strain, the Funeral and Burial Assistance Act will help them meet their needs without financial ruin.”

Firearm violence is a leading cause of death for children and teenagers in Illinois with disproportionate deaths among the Black population and an increasing number of deaths among children under 17. House Bill 2985 seeks to address these issues by providing qualifying families with up to $10,000 in aid to pay for funeral and burial services.

HB 2985 is an initiative of the Strength to Love Foundation, which has been actively participating in Chicago communities affected by gun violence through intervention services and youth development programs. Illinois currently offers funeral and burial assistance, but these processes are often lengthy, causing low-income families to go into overwhelming debt while waiting for reimbursement.

“Gun violence is a public health crisis that must be addressed,” Collins said. “While we work to reduce and prevent the violence running rampant in our state, I intend to support the families navigating the tremendous pain of losing their little ones.”

Collins’ measure passed the Senate and moves to the House for concurrence before going to the governor’s desk for final approval.

Senator Collins on the Senate floorCHICAGO - State Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago) responds to the Florida arrest of former Cook County Judge Daniel Peters, the subject of a large human trafficking investigation. His arrest Friday was one of over 100 during a six-day undercover operation focused on trafficking, prostitution and child predators.

“As this arrest proves, human trafficking is a crime against humanity hiding in plain sight,” Collins said. “Being a woman should not subject any individual to the risk of exploitation, harm or injury.”

Senator Collins sponsored legislation creating the Illinois Human Trafficking Task Force because human trafficking is a problem that affects residents across not only Illinois but all of the United States.

“We must continue to protect and support our vulnerable populations through proper training, evaluation and counseling,” Collins said. “The state and our law enforcement should provide a safe and encouraging environment for women and girls everywhere.“

The growing number of missing women and girls, especially Black women and girls such as Elise Malary, an Evanston resident missing for more than two days, presents a serious problem in the state.

Senator Collins on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD– State Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago) reflects on the compliance of the Illinois Department of Insurance to investigate auto insurance charges during the pandemic.

“As a proud advocate for the prevention of predatory business practices, I am pleased the Illinois Department of Insurance responded to the demands of myself, my colleagues and advocacy organizations,” Collins said. “The investigation is the first step in facilitating accountability within our financial institutions.”

In January, Senator Collins and advocates sent a letter to the department to study the profits earned by auto insurers during the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused a reduction in the amount of vehicle crashes and auto insurance claims due to stay-at-home protocols. If the department were to find unfair charges, it would be urged to call on auto insurers to give refunds to Illinois policyholders.

Analyses by the Consumer Federation of America show insurance companies obtained $42 billion in excess premiums while refunding only $13 billion as of 2020, demonstrating a discrepancy between actual driving data and the cost of insurance claims during the pandemic. The CFA also found the disparaging effect of undue auto insurance is most predominant among the Black community.

“Communities like those I represent disproportionately experience unethical suffering thanks to greedy businesses looking to maximize profits at the expense of consumers,” Collins said. “Illinois has worked diligently to remove barriers to equitable resource access exposed by the pandemic, and addressing these overcharges is necessary to achieve our goal.”

Senator Collins has prioritized consumer protection during her time in the Senate by sponsoring and supporting measures to bring equity and transparency to business practices. These initiatives include ending the use of credit scores to determine auto insurance premiums, spearheading the Community Reinvestment Act to ensure banks serve all communities in their business areas and imposing an interest rate cap on consumer loans.

In urging an analysis of insurance claims during the pandemic, Senator Collins shows continued dedication and service to economically disadvantaged communities.

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