More Gun Legislation Filed At Illinois State Capitol

Feb 22, 2018

Another state lawmaker is targeting weapons like the AR-15,  a  popular semiautomatic rifle used in the recent Florida school shooting.  Sen. Ira Silverstein, D-Chicago, filed a bill that would ban "assault weapons." 

Credit Flickr user Ryo Chijiiwa / "Tommy Guns" (CC BY 2.0)

“I don’t know why people need these guns in the first place. They’re highly sophisticated, powerful guns.”

The measure classifies several guns and attachments as “assault weapons," which many pro-gun advocates have a problem with. Todd Vandermyde, a pro-gun lobbyist, says the language is extremely misleading. 

“Assault weapons is a fictitious term. It was made up by the anti-gun groups to sit there and try to demonize modern semiautomatic firearms and to confuse the general public that they’re machine guns when they’re not.”

Several mass shootings have been carried out with AR-15s. Still, Vandermyde says the very popular rifle is used for many legitimate reasons. “Self-defense, competition, hunting, target shooting, all those things.”

​A Senate committee advanced another bill allowing a family member or law enforcement to go to court if they feel a person who owns a firearm poses a significant danger. A judge would decide whether or not to seize firearms and the Firearm Owners Identification Card. 

Sen. Chris Nybo, R-Elmhurst, supported the measure. "There are reasonable things we can  and should do as a state in response to recent tragedies involving gun violence and this is one area that I think  is reasonable." 

Vandermyde also opposes this legislation. He says there is a lack of due process in the bill.