Committee OKs bans on assault weapons, high-capacity magazines
Over the objections of gun-rights advocates, bills banning assault weapons and large-capacity magazines were approved by an Illinois Senate committee Wednesday night and sent to the full chamber.
House Bill 1263 bans the possession and sale of semi-automatic assault weapons, and House Bill 815 bans the possession and sale of large-capacity ammunition magazines.
Both bills are in response to the December school shootings in Connecticut.
"These military-style weapons have no use in our cities," said Colleen Daley, executive director of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence.
Todd Vandermyde, a lobbyist for the National Rifle Association, said he believes the assault weapons bill goes too far.
"This will ban every semi-automatic handgun that accepts a magazine," he said.
Jay Keller, executive director of the Illinois Firearms Manufacturer's Association, said some weapons banned by the bill "are pistols or shotguns purchased by the average homeowner or the average hunter." He also said the ban would cause some of the nearly 60 gun manufacturers located in Illinois to move to other states.
The bill was approved, but with no support from Republicans on the committee.
Vandermyde said the bill to outlaw large-capacity magazines runs afoul of previous court decisions.
The bill's sponsor, Sen. Dan Kotowski, D-Park Ridge, said the concerns were overstated. "If you are a law-abiding gun owner, I don't know what you have to fear here," Kotowski said.
Doug Finke can be reached at (217) 788-1527.