Cupich Joins The Call To Lawmakers To Override Rauner's Veto Of Gun Licensing Bill

Bernie Tafoya
April 17, 2018 - 12:18 pm

WBBM Newsradio/Bernie Tafoya


CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Cardinal Blase Cupich joined in the call Tuesday morning for state lawmakers to override Governor Rauner’s veto of a bill that would require gun shop dealers to be licensed in Illinois. 

Cardinal Cupich visited Loyola University Medical Center, which according to Emergency Department Dr. Mark Cichon treated 283 gunshot victims last year, twice the number from 2015.

The cardinal said lawmakers should vote to override Governor Rauner's veto of the gun dealer licensing bill and not worry about getting re-elected.

"Seems to me that leadership demands, at times, that people stand up for what’s right and educate those that they serve," Cupich said.

Dr. Cichon said the gun violence epidemic takes its toll on society, but also his staff and those at other hospitals. 

"It’s taxing. It’s a part of your soul that goes along with each of the patients you care for," Dr. Cichon said.

Experts say many of the guns used in crimes in Illinois are brought in from Indiana and Missouri. Cardinal Cupich said Illinoisans cannot change laws in those states, but can enact a gun dealer licensing law and "have an impact on the 40 precent of the firearms purchased here. I say it again. Just because we can’t do everything, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do something."

Governor Rauner said he vetoed the gun dealer licensing bill because it would do little to improve public safety in Illinois. He also said there is already a federal gun dealers licensing law.

Cardinal Cupich disagrees with the Governor and points out that "law enforcement wants it. They know they have to have a way to track these weapons. They have to have a way to follow up once crimes are committed."

Rev. Michael Hayes, a chaplain at Loyola University Medical Center said "the gun violence epidemic we have in metropolitan Chicago robs from all with impunity."

Rich Pearson, the head of the Illinois Rifle Association, disagrees with Cardinal Cupich and said so do two million gun owners in this state. Pearson also said the church and state should not mix. 

The gun lobby is urging people to tell Illinois lawmakers not to vote to override the gun dealer licensing bill.