Durbin, McCarthy, Pendleton parents talk gun reform strategy - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Durbin, McCarthy, Pendleton parents talk gun reform strategy in Chicago

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A gun law remembering 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton was not what her parents wanted, but they're glad lawmakers are doing something to reduce gun violence.

Illinois senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk are co-sponsoring a bill that will crack down on straw purchasing and gun trafficking.

Many of the guns used in violent crimes in the city are bought legally and then sold to people who commit the crimes - people who otherwise could not buy a gun. They're called "straw purchases."

"For straw purchasers, those who are gonna buy guns and turn them over to thugs and criminals get ready. When this bill becomes law, you're gonna deal with a hard time federal crime," Durbin said.

And that sentence could be up to 15 years.

The bill that would deal with straw purchases was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

Hadiya Pendleton's parents joined politicians and police in a push to pass a bill named after their daughter. The 15-year-old honor student was killed in January after school.

The shooting happened in a park on Chicago's South Side sparking a national debate about gun violence.

"If there were a law such as the one being proposed it's quite possible that my baby wouldn't have to be a part of a bill such as this," said Cleo Pendleton, Hadiya's mother.

"I hate to say that this is for my daughter and I hate to be here for that reason but if something good can come out of this---I'm grateful," Pendleton said.

The bill is co-sponsored by Illinois Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk they say it will crack down on straw gun purchases and gun trafficking and it will create harsher punishments.

Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy says tougher laws will make their jobs easier.

"Stronger gun laws can make a real difference in supporting the police strategies and tactics that we're implying here in the city of Chicago," McCarthy said.

Durbin said he's still unsure whether various gun-control proposals making their way through Congress should be introduced separately for votes or all bundled into one big bill.

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