Advocates urge passing of bill named for woman allegedly shot, killed by husband in Little Village

Thursday, October 12, 2023
Domestic violence victim supporters rally for gun restriction law
Advocates for domestic violence victims and survivors gathered for a rally Thursday to urge the passage of proposed gun restriction legislation, known as Karina's Bill.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Domestic violence and gun violence prevention advocates are urging the passage of a bill that would strengthen state law to protect victims of domestic violence from guns.

The bill is named in honor of Karina Gonzalez, who was killed in July inside her Little Village home, along with her 15-year-old daughter, Daniela.

Authorities say Gonzalez's husband, Jose Alvarez, shot them both.

Two weeks before their deaths, Karina Gonzalez went to police to report abuse, and, soon after, was granted an order of protection. But he was allegedly still in the home, with access to his handgun.

This bill would require law enforcement to remove a firearm from a home when a survivor is granted an order of protection.

"We have to make sure that protection works,"said Amanda Pyron, executive director of The Network. "Karina's bill will clarify and strengthen the law to give law enforcement a clear directive to remove the firearm from when an order of protection is granted with a firearm remedy by a judge. So this isn't something that survivors can do on their own. This is something subject to judicial review, and it needs to be clear guidance."

SEE ALSO: Little Village shooting: Man arrested after wife and teen daughter shot to death, son wounded

Advocates hope to pass the bill during the Illinois General Assembly's fall session, which begins later this month, which is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

"Karina's bill will strengthen our laws to make it clear that law enforcement must immediately remove firearms from the home in dangerous domestic violence situations," said state Sen. Celina Villanueva, D-Chicago

The counselors at Family Rescue said they have seen more clients, especially since the pandemic. They offer support to victims of domestic violence and their children.

Too often situations are made even more dangerous if there is access to a firearm, the organization said.

"We've seen a lot of our clients be impacted by violence, especially gun violence to our domestic violence clients. It's tremendous," said Irma Chavez, Family Rescue Community Outreach Program Director.

Among those standing with advocates Thursday was Karina's son, Manny. He was injured in the shooting, but survived.

"We will move this bill forward," said Pastor Brenda Mitchell with Moms Demand Action Illinois. "We will stand with you and say 'enough is enough.'"

Alvarez remains behind bars, and is set to appear in court again next month.

"That gun needs to be removed immediately, there can not be any ambiguity about this process," Illinois 49th District Representative Maura Hirschauer said. "The stakes are too high."

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