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Sen. Durbin Hosts Illinois Gun Control Discussion

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SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

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CHICAGO, IL (IRN) - Law enforcement took time Thursday to voice their thoughts on potential gun control legislation being drafted in Washington.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) hosted a roundtable discussion in Chicago where he heard from the Chicago Police Department, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, the Illinois State Police and suburban police officers. Suggestions for legislation included mandatory minimum sentencing for those cited for a gun crime and better background checks to ensure those with a mental health problem can’t purchase and don’t have access to firearms.

As the vice president works on gun control legislation, Durbin says he backs the ban of large-capacity magazines and military-style weapons. A final bill could include those provisions as well as others that law enforcement are backing.

Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy laid out five things he would like to see addressed by gun control legislation: The banning of “assault weapons,” the banning of large-capacity magazines, mandating background checks at gun shows, mandatory reporting of a lost or stolen firearm and mandatory minimum sentences for those who commit gun crimes.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said there is also a need for additional police and sheriff’s officers, a problem many communities are facing. Money is a problem for the Illinois State Police. Director Hiram Grau says Illinois’ Firearm Owner Identification system is antiquated and a lack of staff has left the FOID system behind in processing FOID card holders who have been declared mentally unfit.

“I intend to make sure the recommendations I hear today are made part of the debate in Washington,” Durbin said. “I am optimistic that reasonable people on all side of this issue can come together and agree on sensible gun laws in this country.”

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