Senator Durbin brings gun debate to Rockford - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Senator Durbin brings gun debate to Rockford

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Senator Dick Durbin (left) talks with Mayor Larry Morrissey (right) while community leaders listen in. Senator Dick Durbin (left) talks with Mayor Larry Morrissey (right) while community leaders listen in.
ROCKFORD (WREX) -

Illinois' Senior Senator comes to Rockford to hear about the area's gun violence. His listening tour comes after the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. Senator Dick Durbin he says this is about preventing a mass shooting from happening in our area. But local leaders want help with the gun violence they deal with every day.

"What we'd like to see at the national level is high crime areas like Rockford that are in the top 20 in the nation, we need to be putting allocated resources in those areas from the U.S. Attorney's office," says Mayor Larry Morrissey.

Rockford's mayor joined police from the city, Loves Park and the Illinois State Police; plus community leaders to talk about crime in the area with Senator Dick Durbin. Mayor Morrissey calls for more attention from the U.S. Attorney's Office prosecuting gang and gun offenders. In 2012, Rockford Police submitted 160 cases for federal prosecution.  The U.S. Attorney's Office took 10.

Besides prosecuting gun crimes, the mayor wants more help tracking weapons.

"I would be supportive of a national registration system similar to the way we monitor the sale of automobiles. Titles of vehicles have to be monitored and subsequent sales of used cars have to be monitored and recorded. Our data indicates the vast majority of crime that is committed with a handgun, illegal guns on the street are from people who aren't authorized to have a gun in the first place," says Mayor Morrissey.

Police talked about the path illegal guns take to get here.

"Southern, southern states, They come up some of the I-55 corridor I know (pointing at State Police Commander) has taken a lot of guns off the highways, interstates," says Deputy Chief Rodney Scott, Loves Park Police Department.

Senator Durbin says this is all information he needs to take back to congress to discuss gun issues.

"I think what we've learned each time we've sat down with law enforcement and leaders in the community is the solution is not one law on guns, that's an important part of it, but it involves a lot of other elements too and we have to engage people to think of those," says Senator Dick Durbin.

The Senate Judiciary Committee, which Senator Durbin sits on, will meet to discuss gun regulations starting in February.

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