Gun organization endorses Quinn for governor

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A national gun organization named after former White House Press Secretary Jim Brady, a victim of gun violence, endorsed Gov. Pat Quinn for the November general election.

A national gun organization named after former White House Press Secretary Jim Brady, a victim of gun violence, endorsed Gov. Pat Quinn for the November general election.

The Brady Campaign cited Quinn’s longstanding commitment to laws that promote public safety as its reason for endorsing him over his Republican opponent state Sen. Bill Brady.

“In less than two years on the job, Gov. Quinn has already taken strong stances on preventing gun violence in Illinois and he supports legislation to make it harder for dangerous people to get dangerous weapons,” Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign, said at a Tuesday news conference at Ogden Park on the South Side.  “We want the people of Illinois to know that there is a clear choice in this election – a choice between a governor who wants to fight the gun violence problems that have caused so much suffering in the state and a challenger who has voted consistently with the gun lobby.”

Quinn said he is humbled to receive the endorsement and said he plans to continue fighting to strengthen gun laws in Illinois.

“There are three things we as elected officials must do to make Illinois safer: Ban the sale of assault weapons, semi-automatic weapons and get tougher on straw gun purchases,” Quinn told the Defender. “A straw purchase is when someone purchases a gun at a gun show with the intent of giving the gun to someone else.”

He added that mandatory jail time is needed for those who make straw purchases to send a message that Illinois is serious about the illegal purchase and use of guns.

Quinn said Brady has consistently voted against commonsense gun laws, such as licensing gun dealers and requiring the safe storage of firearms.

It is now a felony in Illinois for anyone to be caught in possession of a gun without a state issued Firearm Owners Identification Card, following legislation Quinn signed into law last month. He also created the Illinois Anti-Violence Commission in July, which will gather testimony from victims of violence and work with neighborhood groups and crime experts to formulate prevention measures.

This year Quinn said he has attended a lot of funerals but attending the May 28 funeral of Chicago police Officer Thomas Wortham IV, who was killed after four men attempted to steal his motorcycle, was among his most memorable thus far this year.

“That was perhaps the saddest day of my life,” the governor said. “Here is young man who served two tours of duty in Iraq and was active in his community and was gunned down in front of his parents home with an illegal gun.”

Copyright 2010 Chicago Defender

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