The Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence (ICHV) is the oldest and largest statewide organization in the U.S. working to prevent the devastation caused by firearms. Founded in 1975 by four suburban Chicago women concerned about the tragic consequences of handgun proliferation and availability, ICHV works on a variety of fronts to educate, raise public awareness, and build coalitions to enact change in laws and behavior. For 40 years, ICHV has been a leader among state gun violence prevention groups.
Nearly 1,000 Illinois residents and 30,000 individuals across America are killed by guns each year, and tens of thousands more are injured but survive, often with life-changing injuries. ICHV takes a proactive role in educating Illinois citizens about the negative impact gun violence has on communities across our state. We achieve our mission through public education and awareness programs, and by acting as an information source to community groups, activists, policymakers, the media, and other concerned citizens and organizations. Our many programs, such as our Student Voices Program, Student Voices Activist Institute, Lincoln Awards event and more, help us deliver our message across the state and fulfill our mission to reduce gun violence.
ICHV successfully advocates for policies designed to minimize the impact gun violence has on Illinois residents. As a result, Illinois has some of the most progressive gun laws in the country, and we are recognized as a model for other state based gun violence prevention groups. Over our long history working together with our dedicated members and coalition partners, not only have we defeated many of the gun lobby’s key measures, we have also made numerous other accomplishments, including:
- Helping to pass legislation that requires a background check on the sale of every gun sold in Illinois
- Requiring individuals to report to law enforcement if their firearm has been lost or stolen within 72 hours of becoming aware it is missing
- Contributing to a 30% decrease in the number of Illinois residents killed by guns since 1995, and a nearly 60% decrease in the number of children and teens killed by guns during that time
- Helping to pass legislation that increases the penalties on adults convicted of supplying guns used in crimes committed by minors
- Working successfully with law makers and law enforcement agencies to mandate that all guns recovered from crimes in Illinois are traced
- Helping to implement legislation that mandates law enforcement officers revoke FOID cards in addition to any weapons when serving an order of protection
- Serving as a clearinghouse for information on firearm violence, and playing a leadership role in educating our partner organizations throughout the Midwest
- Awarding more than 200 student winners from over 100 different schools in the past eighteen years for participation in our Student Voices Contest
- Training and mentoring youth in becoming activists in their own schools and communities
We are proud of the bi-partisan work we have done over our 38 years, working closely with victims, community members, the media and elected officials to educate the public about the devastating effects of gun violence and to work toward sensible, effective solutions. To become involved with ICHV’s work, please contact our office at 312-243-ICHV (2428) or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org