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Illinois Bans Semi-Automatic Weapons: Critic Backlash

Illinois banned the sale or possession of semi-automatic weapons on Tuesday when Governor JB Pritzker signed legislation prompted in large part by the killing of seven people during a July 4 parade last year in the suburb of Chicago in Highland Park.

Pritzker acted without hesitation after the House voted 68 to 41 to make Illinois the ninth state, along with Washington, DC, to ban the sale or possession of semi-automatic weapons. The vote approved a plan approved by the Senate on Monday night.

Mighty Forces

Pritzker, who was sworn in for his second term on Monday, celebrated the culmination of what he described as a four-year struggle against “the mighty forces” of gun advocacy groups.

“We will continue to fight – bill by bill, vote by vote and protest by protest – to ensure that future generations only hear about massacres like Highland Park, Sandy Hook and Uvalde in their textbooks,” a Pritzker said in a statement.

In his inaugural speech on Monday, the Democrat hated not only the Highland Park mass shooting that also left 30 injured, but also the gun violence common in Chicago, including the gun game that killed two 16-year-olds. years and injured two others last month in Benito Juarez. High school on the west side of Chicago.

Critics warn that the governor’s signature will trigger legal challenges, which will ultimately overturn the law as a violation of the 2nd Amendment.

Ed Sullivan, a lobbyist for the Illinois State Rifle Association, said legal action would be swift. Senate Speaker Don Harmon closed debate on Senate action Monday night by boldly declaring to critics, “See you in court.” ISRA replied: “Challenge accepted.”

Republicans in the state, whose 45 seats dropped by five with a new General Assembly taking over on Wednesday, were left to rumble during the debate. Rep. Blaine Wilhour of Beecher City, 156 miles northeast of St. Louis, snidely complained that Democrats “despise our founders.”

Statement of Wilhour

“A government willing to challenge our Constitution is a government completely out of control. So you can sit here and dictate whatever you want today,” Wilhour said. “But I can tell you that we will not comply and you are not going to do anything about it because the law, the Constitution and the founding principles are on our side.

The legislation prohibits dozens of specific brands or types of rifles and handguns, .50 caliber weapons, accessories and rapid-fire devices. No rifle can hold more than 10 rounds, with a 15 round limit for handguns.

Those who already own such weapons will need to register them, including serial numbers, with the Illinois State Police. The new law allows merchants to sell or return current inventory, and Illinois-based manufacturers can sell their merchandise outside of Illinois or to law enforcement.

Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch introduced his mother, Willie Mae Welch, who was with him on the House floor. Welch recounted how, as a teenager in 1985, his mother’s sister was shot and killed while sitting in a car outside her church. Welch’s aunt had three young daughters. His parents, although they themselves have three boys, took them in. No attacker has ever been apprehended.

“It’s time for us to protect communities in Illinois,” Welch said. “It is time that we protect the families of Illinois. Let’s put an end to families having to change overnight. Let us no longer lose brothers and sisters, children to armed violence.

Welch, a Democrat from the Chicago suburb of Hillside, led the measure from the original sponsor, Rep. Bob Morgan, a Democrat from the suburb of Deerfield who was in the Highland Park parade when filming began.

Eight states and the District of Columbia currently ban semi-automatic weapons, according to Tanya Schardt, working for the legislation for the Brady campaign. They differ in their definitions of semi-automatic weapons, but they generally ban 10-round magazines for long guns and handguns. The bans have survived constitutional challenges in numerous courts, she said.

Five states — California, Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey and New York — require registration of guns purchased before the law, Schardt said. The other three states with bans are Delaware, Maryland and Massachusetts.

The registration often irritates current owners, but most condone the collection of information, Schardt said.

Legislation also provides protection. If the police stop a car driven by a semi-automatic weapon owner, for example, they can instantly check to make sure it is legally owned. And it allows law enforcement to trace a weapon that, for example, is stolen and used in a crime.

The Senate amended Morgan’s original proposal, but jeopardized any changes the House could accept. For example, Morgan proposed raising the age to 21 for getting a gun owner identification card, but the current version allows younger people to get one with parental permission.

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