Illinois law enforcement agencies are divided on whether the state should ban the sale of so-called “assault weapons.” During a hearing this week in Springfield, supporters of the ban, like Sergeant Mark Marianovich of the Chicago Police Department SWAT team, say assault weapons pose too great a threat.
It’s a wrenching debate for the country, and the anguish over Sandy Hook and the relentless shootings in Chicago have reinvigorated the divisive issue. We’ve been following the many sides of the gun debate and we’ll continue to do so, but today we begin a series we’re calling “Our Guns” -- conversations with people who own and are committed to gun rights. We start today by hearing from people in rural Illinois.
An Illinois Senate committee has approved limits on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. But those measures have not yet moved to the floor for action. The upper chamber canceled a session scheduled for Friday.
Governor Pat Quinn is renewing his call for an assault weapons ban for Illinois. But in order to get it passed, he'll need the support of a Republican lawmaker who opposes the idea.
Quinn first raised the issue in the days following the Colorado shooting rampage. He spotted an opening in legislation that would have allowed people to purchase ammunition by mail from companies within Illinois. On Tuesday, Quinn used his amendatory veto powers to rewrite the proposal so it would ban many types of semi-automatic firearms and high-capacity ammunition magazines.