Pritzker: Federal gun control package is 'not enough'
Gov. JB Pritzker said Monday a new gun control measure that a bipartisan group of U.S. senators has agreed to is a good start in response to recent mass shootings, but he wants to see more done.
“It’s been an awfully long time since Congress acted on gun safety. So I’m glad to see that there was some success that come out of that. It’s not enough,” Pritzker said at a news conference in Bloomington.
Pritzker said the gun control measures Congress may approve are less restrictive than laws already on the books in Illinois. The proposal would encourage states to adopt "red flag" laws to remove guns from potentially dangerous people as Illinois has already done. It would also expand background checks and fund school safety and mental health resources.
Pritzker said Chicago’s gun violence is often mistakenly attributed to Illinois’ more strict gun laws.
“Even if you have reasonable gun safety laws and rules here in the state of Illinois, in Indiana and Missouri and Kentucky you don’t,” Pritzker said, noting 60% of the guns recovered in major crimes in Chicago come from other states. “National laws that help us deter weapons from getting into the hands of people who would commit violent crimes are necessary.”
Pritzker is rejecting a claim from a Republican candidate for governor that he's meddling in the GOP primary. Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin said Pritzker is helping opponent Darren Bailey by funding negative ads because Pritzker is “scared” to run again him.
“That’s ridiculous. We are running a campaign against Republicans, whoever that nominee is going to be. We are running a tough campaign against them for the general election. That’s what that’s all about.”
A recent poll shows state Sen. Darren Bailey leading Irvin in the Republican race by 15 points.
Early voting is already underway ahead of the June 28 primary election.
Honoring Jim Ryan
Pritzker paid tribute to former state attorney general Jim Ryan who died at age 76 after several lengthy illnesses.
Pritzker called Ryan one of the great public servants in Illinois history.
“(He) worked in a bipartisan fashion to make people safer, to stand up for what was right and to put trust in government. It’s a great loss to our state,” Pritzker said. “I may be a Democrat and he was a Republican, but he was a good public servant.”
Jim Ryan served two terms as state attorney general starting in 1995. Ryan was the Republican nominee for governor in 2003. He lost to Rod Blagojevich.
Pritzker spoke at a news conference in Bloomington to announce an expansion of the Ferrero chocolate manufacturing plant.