from WGEM

Maura was recently interviewed on HB5855, which includes an assault weapons ban similar to her bill introduced earlier this year. It includes some changes as well as other provisions to help keep communities safer.

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The Protect Illinois Communities Act Is a logical, necessary step to reduce the harm from assault weapons and large capacity magazines. We owe it to all whose lives have been irreversibly touched by gun violence.

Op-Ed By  State Rep. Maura Hirschauer (Click here to read in the Chicago Sun Times)

Before I was a state representative, I was a volunteer and community leader with Moms Demand Action. My work with that organization informs my daily commitment to making sure that no parent drops their children off at school and fears they might not see them alive again, and that no person looks for active shooters in the grocery aisle, church pew or parade route.

When I took office, I promised to honor the lives lost and changed by gun violence with action — the action that drove me to run for office in the first place. It is why I filed HB5522 back in January. After the mass shooting in Highland Park, I recommitted myself to banning assault-style weapons and large capacity magazines.

I am proud to co-sponsor the new gun reform package that will keep Illinois on the path to leading the nation in gun safety. The Protect Illinois Communities Act Is a logical, necessary step to reduce the harm caused by gun violence. Now more than ever, we must see change. We owe it to all whose lives have been irreversibly touched by gun violence.

More than 110 Americans are killed by guns each day, and the wide availability of high-capacity assault weapons extends this danger beyond reason. I respect the right of Illinoisans to bear arms and protect their families, but no one needs to wield a weapon capable of firing 30 bullets in 10 seconds to feel secure in their home. There is no reason for assault weapons, whose sole purpose is to kill efficiently and effectively, to be available in Illinois. Yet these weapons of war have made their way onto our streets and into our schools, grocery stores, workplaces and community celebrations. 

Another sad truth is that young people ages 18 to 20 commit gun homicides at three times the rate of those over 21. Far too often, young people suffering from mental illness are able to access weapons that turn their darkest thoughts into a nightmarish reality. Putting killing machines into their hands is reckless endangerment.

Children and teens are actively targeted in the marketing of firearms, despite the gun industry’s clear knowledge of the risk factors of gun ownership by young people. Guns are not toys or video game controllers. It is irresponsible to treat them as such. We must close the loophole that allows young people to obtain firearms before they understand the gravity and potential consequences of that decision. 

Although Illinois’ current laws continue to be weakened by those in neighboring states that refuse to take action for gun safety, we aren’t helpless to fight back. We can reduce the flow of incoming illegal weapons by empowering the Illinois State Police to work with federal and local officials to trace illegal guns and hold straw purchasers accountable. Giving law enforcement the tools and technology to track illegal crime guns while simultaneously strengthening the laws on our books is essential to keep guns out of the wrong hands. 

The ripple effect of gun violence can be felt all across Illinois, from Chicago to Highland Park to Aurora to East St. Louis. The trauma from gun violence is disproportionately felt by Black Illinoisans, who are 32 times more likely than white Illinoisans to die by gun homicide. Guns are the leading cause of death of Illinois children ages 1-17 years old. Throughout the pandemic, Illinois led the country in gun sales, and today there are more guns in Illinois households than ever before, leaving our children at risk. We cannot ignore the fact that the rise in gun violence is related to easy access to firearms.

Children are being killed and families torn apart while lawmakers allow their hands to be tied by the gun lobby. The outsized influence of the NRA has endangered us all for far too long, and it is high time we stood up to their bullying. If legislators have the courage to stand up to the NRA and ban weapons of war from our streets, we can move closer to making Illinois a state where no one has to live in fear of being gunned down in their community.

This goes far beyond partisan politics. We have a moral obligation to fight for this change. 

We’ve reached a flashpoint, beyond which to do nothing is to be complicit in avoidable and unacceptable tragedy. Enough is enough. We must pass the Protect Illinois Communities Act.

Rep. Hirschauer Backs Assault Weapons Ban

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — In the wake of the hundreds of mass shootings suffered by the United States this year alone, including the Highland Park Fourth of July shooting, state Rep. Maura Hirschauer, D-Batavia, is sponsoring a gun safety measure that includes a statewide ban on assault weapons.

“Far too many communities in our country and in Illinois suffer from the effects of gun violence. They grieve for children lost too soon, teachers who take bullets for their students, and survivors who feel guilty for living through unspeakable tragedy,” Hirschauer said. “No one should have to endure such pain. It is for that reason that I proudly support an assault weapons ban. By strengthening our gun safety laws and limiting access to deadly weapons, we both honor the lives of those lost to gun violence and protect our families and communities.”

House Bill 5855 bans assault weapons, large capacity magazines, and rapid-fire devices that help weapons function like fully automatic guns. The bill would also prevent individuals under age 21, with the exception of active members of the military and Illinois National Guard, from owning a firearm. Among other functions, the legislation strengthens firearm restraining order laws and holds gun manufacturers accountable for marketing firearms products using deceptive marketing tactics.

“As a state representative, my top priority is to protect and advocate for the safety of children and families within our community. Every day assault weapons roam our streets is a day we cannot guarantee the wellbeing of those we hold dear,” Hirschauer said. “This assault weapons ban will undoubtedly save many innocent lives and protect communities across the state. I urge my colleagues to stand behind this historic proposal and help protect the people of Illinois.”

Rep. Maura HirschauerRep. Hirschauer Backs Assault Weapons Ban

(D-Batavia)
49th District

    Springfield Office:
    276-S Stratton Office Building
    Springfield, IL 62706
    (217) 782-1653

    District Office:
    946 Neltnor Blvd #108
    West Chicago IL 60185

    Rep. Hirschauer Backs Assault Weapons Ban

    SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — To heighten the safety of communities across the state and boost equity within the criminal justice system, state Rep. Maura Hirschauer supported comprehensive legislation to improve the SAFE-T Act and address partisan misconceptions.

    “These refinements and enhancements will help transform our state’s criminal justice system while ensuring the safety and protection of those we hold dear,” Hirschauer said. “After extensive negotiation among stakeholders of different backgrounds, including both Kane and DuPage county state’s attorneys, we’ve come forth with thoughtful, sensible policy solutions that will make Illinois a more secure and just state for all who live here.”

    Hirschauer supported House Bill 1095, which incorporates hundreds of hours of negotiation and feedback from law enforcement, prosecutors, public safety advocates, survivors, and other relevant stakeholders. It addresses good-faith critiques of the SAFE-T Act and corrects misconceptions to ensure a safe and successful implementation.

    Specifically, as initially intended in the underlying SAFE-T Act, House Bill 1095 further clarifies that a person who poses a risk to public safety can be detained. This includes crimes such as arson, kidnapping, robbery and other serious offenses that have been incorrectly suggested as no longer being detainable. House Bill 1095 underscores that non-probationable felonies, forcible felonies, hate crimes and other serious crimes – such as aggravated DUI causing great bodily harm – are detainable by a judge.

    To address incorrect concerns that all violent offenders will be released Jan. 1, 2023, House Bill 1095 lays out a clear transition process for courts and law enforcement to avoid misinterpretation of the law:

    • Anyone charged on or after Jan. 1 will be entered into the new system;
    • Anyone charged before Jan. 1 stays in the current system, but the state or defendant have the option to move the case to the new system;
    • The motion schedule will prioritize low level non-violent offenders;
    • Those defendants who are charged with low level non-violent crimes must receive their offense hearings within seven days;
    • Those who are requesting to be entered into the new system but could be considered a flight risk will have an offense hearing within 60 days and those who are considered a threat to public safety will have a hearing within 90 days. A judge will have discretion on whether these individuals will be released pre-trial.

    House Bill 1095 further clarifies and makes consistent all language pertaining to what prosecutors must show to detain an individual, which is that the person poses a real and present threat to any person or the community, based on specific articulable facts of the case.

    Of note, House Bill 1095 addresses concerns about the enforcement of trespassing to ensure that a trespasser can be cited – and then arrested – if they refuse to leave.

    Language is also updated to clarify what is considered as “willful flight.” It defines “willful flight” as intentionally avoiding prosecution and notes that patterns of nonappearance or a lack of steps to address nonappearance can be considered as factors in determining willful flight.

    Updated language clarifies court authority in setting conditions for electronic monitoring, and removes language that would have made escape chargeable only after 48 hours.

    Additionally, the measure creates a state grant program for increasing public defenders to handle an expected increase in caseloads, further clarifies remote hearing rules, further explains bench warrant processes and allows for good reason delays to be excluded from a speedy trial clock. It also allows for the state and defendant to appeal all court decisions related to pretrial release and clarifies that the public defender handling the detention hearing also handles the appeal.

    Rep. Maura HirschauerRep. Hirschauer Backs Assault Weapons Ban

    (D-Batavia)
    49th District

      Springfield Office:
      276-S Stratton Office Building
      Springfield, IL 62706
      (217) 782-1653

      District Office:
      946 Neltnor Blvd #108
      West Chicago IL 60185

      Rep. Hirschauer Backs Assault Weapons Ban

      WEST CHICAGO, Ill. — State Rep. Maura Hirschauer, D-Batavia, is encouraging all nonbinary and female-identifying young people in Illinois to apply for the Illinois Council on Women and Girls’ Girls Committee.

      “The voices of our young people are powerful drivers of change, and the Girls Committee gives young women the chance to have their voices heard,” Hirschauer said. “This is the perfect opportunity for civic-minded youth to learn about government and policy while making positive change in their communities.”

      The Illinois Council on Women and Girls, chaired by Lt. Gov. Julianna Stratton, advises Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the General Assembly on policy issues affecting women and girls statewide. Committee members will have the opportunity to share their experiences and learn from other Council committees to make Illinois a better place for women and girls. All high school-aged female-identifying and nonbinary students are encouraged to apply.”

      “When we give young women a seat at the table, we create more representative and inclusive policy decisions,” Hirschauer said. “I invite all young women and nonbinary students who are interested in government and policy to apply for this opportunity.”

      Applications for the committee are due Oct. 23 and require a video submission as response to one of the questions. Applications can be submitted at https://isbe.submittable.com/submit/236836. For more information, contact Council member Jackie Matthews at jmatthew@isbe.net or 312-590-4327.

      Rep. Maura HirschauerRep. Hirschauer Backs Assault Weapons Ban

      (D-Batavia)
      49th District

        Springfield Office:
        276-S Stratton Office Building
        Springfield, IL 62706
        (217) 782-1653

        District Office:
        946 Neltnor Blvd #108
        West Chicago IL 60185

        Rep. Hirschauer Backs Assault Weapons Ban

        WEST CHICAGO, Ill. — State Rep. Maura Hirschauer, D-Batavia, will help lead an effort to review and improve the training programs of community health workers as a part of the newly established Community Health Workers Review Board.

        “Community health workers play an essential role in maintaining and improving the wellbeing of our families and communities at large,” Hirschauer said. “We must ensure they have access to the most effective and efficient training and certification processes so that they can continue to provide high quality health care for those who need it.”

        The Community Health Workers Review Board is tasked with advising the Illinois Department of Health as they develop an Illinois Community Health Worker Certification Program. The board will recommend standards, review proposed regulations and provide feedback about training programs and reimbursement schedules. The board will also provide an annual report to the Office of the Governor and the General Assembly about the progress of the program.

        “Everyone benefits when community health workers have the tools and certification they need to perform to the best of their ability,” Hirschauer said. “I am honored to have been appointed to the Community Health Workers Review Board and I am eager to collaborate with my colleagues and stakeholders to improve health care training and regulations.”

        For more information, please contact Hirschauer’s office at office@repmaura49.com or 331-465-9661

        Rep. Maura HirschauerRep. Hirschauer Backs Assault Weapons Ban

        (D-Batavia)
        49th District

          Springfield Office:
          276-S Stratton Office Building
          Springfield, IL 62706
          (217) 782-1653

          District Office:
          946 Neltnor Blvd #108
          West Chicago IL 60185

          Rep. Hirschauer Backs Assault Weapons Ban

          WEST CHICAGO, Ill. — To help families prepare for the new school year, state Rep. Maura Hirschauer, D-Batavia, and state Sen. Karina Villa, D-West Chicago, partnered with WeGo Together for Kids to hand out hundreds of backpacks full of school supplies to local students.

          “Thanks to the generosity of dozens of community organizations, West Chicago students will have what they need to learn and thrive in the classroom,” Hirschauer said. “I am tremendously proud of our community for coming together and helping those in need. When we work together, we can make a real difference in the lives of our young people.”

          Hirschauer and Villa co-hosted WeGo Together for Kids’ seventh annual school supply event in late August, distributing 976 backpacks to School District 33 students from kindergarten to eighth grade. During her time in the Illinois General Assembly, Hirschauer has been a fierce advocate for education. Most recently, she passed a budget that increases evidence-based education funding by $350 million and invests millions of dollars in special and early childhood education.

          “I couldn’t be prouder to represent such a giving community,” said Villa. “I’m incredibly grateful for all the local organizations and community members who came together to help our students start the year off on the right foot.”

          For a full list of donors, please visit https://repmaura.tiny.us/backpacks22.

          Rep. Maura HirschauerRep. Hirschauer Backs Assault Weapons Ban

          (D-Batavia)
          49th District

            Springfield Office:
            276-S Stratton Office Building
            Springfield, IL 62706
            (217) 782-1653

            District Office:
            946 Neltnor Blvd #108
            West Chicago IL 60185

            WEST CHICAGO, Ill. — To help families prepare for the new school year, state Rep. Maura Hirschauer, D-Batavia, and state Sen. Karina Villa, D-West Chicago, partnered with WeGo Together for Kids to hand out hundreds of backpacks full of school supplies to local students.

            “Thanks to the generosity of dozens of community organizations, West Chicago students will have what they need to learn and thrive in the classroom,” Hirschauer said. “I am tremendously proud of our community for coming together and helping those in need. When we work together, we can make a real difference in the lives of our young people.”

            Hirschauer and Villa co-hosted WeGo Together for Kids’ seventh annual school supply event in late August, distributing 976 backpacks to School District 33 students from kindergarten to eighth grade. During her time in the Illinois General Assembly, Hirschauer has been a fierce advocate for education. Most recently, she passed a budget that increases evidence-based education funding by $350 million and invests millions of dollars in special and early childhood education.

            “I couldn’t be prouder to represent such a giving community,” said Villa. “I’m incredibly
            grateful for all the local organizations and community members who came together to help our
            students start the year off on the right foot.”

            Our office thanks all of the partners who made this backpack event possible:

            • Art of Fadez
            • Atlas Chicken
            • AVIENT
            • ComEd
            • Costco Wholesale
            • DuPage County Regional Office of Education
            • Dynamic Utility Solutions
            • Elgin Sweepers
            • Ethekos Consulting
            • Farmers Insurance
            • Graham Packaging
            • Hearth & Hammer
            • Integrated Pain Management
            • JelSert
            • Lakeshore Recycling Systems
            • LandCare
            • Marian Chicago
            • Mars
            • Meridian
            • Nationwide
            • North Arrow Partners
            • Owens & Minor
            • Realty of Chicago
            • Red Hive Market
            • RJ Lipscomb Engineering
            • Sandi Llano and Associates
            • St. Andrew Lutheran Church
            • Suncast
            • The Kelly Family
            • The Slice Spot
            • Thoro Bred Fitness
            • UPS
            • Wise Plastics
            Rep. Hirschauer Backs Assault Weapons Ban

            WEST CHICAGO, Ill. — State Rep. Maura Hirschauer, D-Batavia, in partnership with state Rep. Fred Crespo, D-Hoffman Estates, and state Rep. Seth Lewis, R-Bartlett, is inviting residents to experience the Mobile Museum of Tolerance. The museum will visit Hawk Hollow Elementary School, Sunnydale Elementary School and Kenyon Woods Middle School from Sept. 6-9.

            “As we experience a rise in hate crimes nationwide, teaching our children to respect and celebrate people of different races, religions and cultures is now more important than ever,” Hirschauer said. “Education plays a key role in promoting tolerance and civility, and I am so excited to bring this outstanding educational opportunity to our community.”

            The Mobile Museum of Tolerance is an initiative of the Simon Wiesenthal Center aimed at empowering people to stand against racism, antisemitism and all forms of hate. The museum uses technology and interactive lessons to spread the message of tolerance and promote human dignity.

            “We are all responsible for creating a community where everyone is welcomed and respected,” Hirschauer said.  “I invite everyone to visit and learn from the Mobile Museum of Tolerance so we can create a more inclusive community where everyone can thrive.”

            Members of the public can visit the museum at Hawk Hollow Elementary on Sept. 6 from 2:30-4 p.m. at 235 Jacaranda Dr. in Bartlett or at Sunnydale Elementary on Sept. 7 from 2:30-4:30 p.m. at 716 Sunnydale Blvd. in Streamwood. For more information, please contact Hirschauer’s office at office@repmaura49.com or 331-465-9661.

            Rep. Maura HirschauerRep. Hirschauer Backs Assault Weapons Ban

            (D-Batavia)
            49th District

            Springfield Office:
            276-S Stratton Office Building
            Springfield, IL 62706
            (217) 782-1653

            District Office:
            946 Neltnor Blvd #108
            West Chicago IL 60185

            Rep. Hirschauer Backs Assault Weapons Ban

            WEST CHICAGO, Ill. — State Rep. Maura Hirschauer, D-Batavia, is hosting a job fair on Sept. 8 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Elgin Community College Building E-1700 Spartan Drive in Elgin. The event, hosted in partnership with state Rep. Anna Moeller, D-Elgin, state Sen. Cristina Castro, D-Elgin, state Sen. Karina Villa, D-West Chicago, and the Illinois Department of Employment Security will have on-site interviews with local businesses. Job candidates are encouraged to bring their resume.

            “As we continue to deal with the effects of inflation, good-paying jobs are more important than ever,” Hirschauer said. “Our community is fortunate to have manufacturers and small businesses in need of workers, so I encourage anyone seeking employment to join us at this event.”

            Several employers from around the area will be in attendance, including Suncast, Elgin Sweepers, Jel Sert, JP Morgan Chase, Ecker Center for Behavioral Health, Saint Joseph Hospital, SAS Retail Services, Reyes Coca-Cola Bottling, KCT Credit Union, International Paper and more. Several state agencies, such as the Illinois Department of Corrections, Department of Children and Family Services, Department of Human Services, Department of Juvenile Justice and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency will attend the event as well.

            This event is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Hirschauer’s district office at office@repmaura49.com or call 331-465-9661.

            Rep. Maura HirschauerRep. Hirschauer Backs Assault Weapons Ban

            (D-Batavia)
            49th District

            Springfield Office:
            276-S Stratton Office Building
            Springfield, IL 62706
            (217) 782-1653

            District Office:
            946 Neltnor Blvd #108
            West Chicago IL 60185