Illinois gun bans

Firearms groups fight sweeping Illinois gun ban, Dems weigh options

by Barnini Chakraborty,  |  published on January 5, 2013

National and state firearms groups are fighting back against a pair of sweeping and controversial gun control bills being pushed through the Illinois state legislature during the final days of a lame-duck session.

On Wednesday night, a state Senate committee advanced two measures to restrict semiautomatic weapons and high-capacity magazines. It’s unclear at this point whether the full Senate will take them up before the new General Assembly class is sworn in Jan. 9, when the process would have to restart.

The bills would face an uphill climb in the Senate, particularly as gun groups were mounting a flash campaign against them. was told late Thursday that Democrats were still trying to line up the votes, after the measures passed on party lines out of committee the night before.

The first proposal would ban the possession, delivery, sale and transfer of semiautomatic handguns and rifles. Gun groups say this kind of restriction would be so expansive as to affect most gun owners in the state.

“It’s easy for politicians like Governor Pat Quinn to stand up and pound the lecturn while calling for the ban and confiscation of semi-automatic firearms,” the Illinois Rifle Association said in a statement. “But (Illinois Gov. Pat) Quinn and his ilk would do well to remember that there are 1.5 million firearm owners in Illinois. Of that 1.5 million, most own one or more firearms that would be banned under the knee-jerk proposals being floated post-Newton.”

The group also warned that the bills would “result in all the gun ranges in the state going out of business.”

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