Bill Named After Hadiya Pendleton Clears Senate Committee

A bill to cut down on so-called straw purchases of guns clears the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.

Posted: 03/11/2013 09:18 AM EDT
Bill Named After Hadiya Pendleton Clears Senate Committee

A gun-control measure named after Hadiya Pendleton, the Chicago teenager who was killed in a shooting incident, has been approved by a committee in the U.S. Senate.

Pendleton was a 15-year-old who died by gunfire in a rainy Chicago park a little more than a week after her band performed in Washington during President Obama’s inaugural festivities.

The bill is co-sponsored by Senator Dick Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois, Senator Mark Kirk, an Illinois Republican, and Senator Susan Collins of Maine. It carries a section named for Pendleton and Nyasia Pryear-Yard, a New York teenager who died as a result of gun violence.

The legislation is designed to crack down on the sale of guns to people who are able to purchase them legally to others who cannot. If passed, the measure would make it a felony to purchase a gun from a federally licensed dealer on behalf of another person. It would also make it illegal for a gun to be purchased from a private seller by someone who is not legally allowed to own firearms, a practice known as “straw purchases.”

"This bill says the party's over," said Durbin, who is the Senate's second-ranking Democrat, following the Judiciary Committee’s vote. "If you think this is a good way to make a living or a lot of money … we're going to nail you."

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the bill Thursday by an 11-7 vote. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the top Republican on the panel, was the only member of his party to vote in favor. Kirk and fellow Republican co-sponsor Collins were not able to cast votes, as neither has a seat on the panel.

The death of Pendleton received national attention for not only raising awareness of the high number of deaths by gunfire in Chicago, but for heightening attention to gun violence in urban America.

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(Photo: Hadiya Pendleton/Facebook)

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