villivalam 031921CHICAGO – After a deadly, racially motivated shooting spree in Atlanta, Georgia, and an arrest outside of the U.S. Naval Conservatory, current home of the first Asian American Vice President, State Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) is calling on his colleagues to pass public safety measures to help prevent another tragedy.

“We can’t wait for the next tragedy to act on gun violence,” Villivalam said. “Our communities are under attack. We need to enact common sense gun violence prevention policy to improve public safety for every community, especially those communities that are being specifically targeted.”

Villivalam, who serves as the Senate Co-Chair of the Illinois Asian American Legislative Caucus, is sponsoring legislation that would require background checks for all gun sales, obtain fingerprints from FOID card applicants, enable the Illinois State Police to reduce illegal gun purchases and dedicate mental health funding for communities most impacted by gun violence.

According to Stop AAPI Hate, a non-profit that tracks and responds to anti-Asian hate crimes, 3,795 incidents were reported between March 19, 2020 and Feb. 28, 2021. Asian American women are 2.3 times more likely to be targeted than men.