Suburban activist, Chicago lawmaker hope allowing civil suits against illegal gun sellers will ‘send a message’

Suburban activist, Chicago lawmaker hope allowing civil suits against illegal gun sellers will ‘send a message’

Brenda Mitchell holds a photograph of her son Kenneth Mitchell, who was killed in 2005 in south suburban Matteson. Gun violence has cost Brenda Mitchell her son, her brother, several close friends and two godchildren. Those deaths pushed the south suburban University Park woman to work with Purpose Over Pain, Father Michael Pfleger and other activists to combat gun trafficking, straw purchases and seek other ways to “help stop the bleed.” “Unfortunately, the victims are getting younger and younger, and it’s like, as a humane society, when do we say ‘enough?’ When do we say ‘stop the bleed?’” Mitchell asked. The suburban activist is supporting legislation that state Rep. Margaret Croke, D-Chicago, plans to file soon. The North Side Democrat, who sought Mitchell’s opinion on her legislation, hopes her bill targeting straw dealers will act as a “deterrent” to those illegal purchases and transfers of guns. Croke’s legislation would allow Illinois residents to bring a civil suit against the manufacturer, importer or dealer of a firearm if they, or a loved one, are hurt or killed as a result of the unlawful discharge of a gun in the state. State Rep. Margaret Croke speaks at a news conference on the North Side in July. Only illegal sales would be targeted under Croke’s legislation. A gun linked to one unlawful injury, would mean that seller could only be sued once, but if the gun is linked to 20 or more shootings, that could mean 20 or more suits against the […]

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