Activists carried signs saying: "Loose guns = Lost Lives," "Love Thy Neighbor Not Thy Gun," and "Connecticut Protected Their Children! What Will Illinois Do?" A new, sweeping gun law was enacted earlier this month in Connecticut where Sandy Hook Elementary is located.
Illinois experienced its own massacre when, five years ago, a shooter killed students at Northern Illinois University. And in a different wave of violence ... Chicago has been plagued by shooting after shooting. Brothers and sisters of murder victims say Illinois needs to protect them by keeping guns out of bars, stadiums and schools.
A court has given the state until early June to pass a law allowing people to carry guns in public. While gun-control advocates like Sen. Dan Kotowski, D- Park Ridge, have accepted that, they say Illinois can still enact restrictions.
"Teddy bears are more regulated than guns. Teddy bears are tested for sharp edges, points, flammability, loose parts. How many children died from teddy bears last year? (None!) How many? (None!) It's because we took the steps to protect children from unsafe teddy bears. Why can we not do the same with guns?" -- Senator Dan Kotowski
Kotowski says he wants the state to pass the strongest possible gun laws. Activists want to keep guns out of bars and stadiums and off public transportation systems. They also want to pass a ban on so-called "assault weapons" and require universal background checks. Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky contributed to this report