Skip to content

Senate OKs gun ban, House Dems agree with changes

The Senate plan differs slightly from the recent House-passed version, but despite initial objections from House Democrats, they're expected to approve the measure. Republicans predict the law would be overturned in court as unconstitutional.

Associated Press
Associated Press
| 4 min read
Senate OKs gun ban, House Dems agree with changes

Embed from Getty Images

By JOHN O'CONNOR | AP Political Writer

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Senate approved a ban on semiautomatic weapons Monday, hours after Gov. J.B. Pritzker was sworn in to a second term and expressed disgust over shootings so frequent each "needs a title so you know which one we’re referring to.”

The Senate plan differs slightly from the recent House-passed version, but despite initial objections from House Democrats, Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch joined Pritzker and Senate President Don Harmon in a statement confirming the House expected to approve the measure Tuesday and send it to Pritzker.

Republicans, voting against the issue which was endorsed 34-20, predicted the law would be overturned in court as unconstitutional.

“We've been dealing with gun violence in all fashions for far too long,” said Harmon, a Democrat from the Chicago suburb of Oak Park who sponsored the legislation. “We have many laws on the books, but in the end, the proliferation of high-powered weapons whose original basis was in military combat have no place in common commerce or on our streets.”

The legislation would ban the manufacture or possession of dozens of brands and types of rapid-fire rifles and pistols, .50-caliber guns and attachments that enhance a weapon's firepower. Those who currently own such guns would not be required to surrender them but would have to register them with the Illinois State Police — including serial numbers, a provision initially removed by the Senate but restored after House proponents' objections.

Merchants who are federally licensed to sell such weapons would be able to dispose of their current inventory by returning them to manufacturers or selling them.

Sen. Chapin Rose, a Republican from Mahomet, about 180 miles (285 kilometers) northeast of St. Louis, read a list of more than two dozen laws prohibiting possession or use of firearms or restrictions on certain types such as machine guns.

“Every time I pick up and read about a shooting, it's someone who already is a convicted felon that under that list of existing laws I just read aren't allowed to have a gun in the first place,” Rose said. “Why don't we go after the bad guys, put them behind bars and actually keep them there?”

A ban on semiautomatic weapons was a campaign priority for Pritzker, particularly after a gunman killed seven and injured 30 in a July 4th parade shooting in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park.[1]

“I’m tired of living in a world where a mass shooting needs a title so you know which one we’re referring to,” Pritzker said after his inauguration Monday afternoon. “Hospitals, high schools, homes, parades, offices — there is no place, geographic or otherwise, that has been spared from the threat of gun violence."

Pritzker earlier said lawmakers should take aim at “weapons of war.” Sen. Neil Anderson, a Republican from the Mississippi River community of Andalusia, noted that two guns the military still uses aren't banned. Harmon noted those guns fire off cartridges with lower capacities than those in the bill — 10 rounds for rifles and 15 for pistols.

The plan also would broaden the state's “red flag” law, which allows a court to confiscate weapons from someone deemed a danger to themselves or others up to a year from the current six months.

Sen. Julie Morrison, the Lake Forest Democrat who sponsored that 2018 law and participated in the Highland Park parade, urged support for the proposal.

“Gun violence has been normalized,” Morrison said. “The callous murder of our children and teachers in our schools, our neighbors in grocery stores, or our friends and family celebrating our nation's birthday at a parade must end.”


Subscribe to the Chicago Journal


The Chicago Journal needs your support.

At just $20/year, your subscription not only helps us grow, it helps maintain our commitment to independent publishing.

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE

If you're already a subscriber and you'd like to send a tip to continue to support the Chicago Journal, which we would greatly appreciate, you can do so at the following link:

Send a tip to the Chicago Journal


Subscribe to the Chicago Journal

Notes & References


  1. Press, Associated. “Highland Park Parade Attack Suspect Pleads Not Guilty.” Chicago Journal. Chicago Journal, August 3, 2022. https://www.chicagojournal.com/highland-park-parade-attack-suspect-pleads-not-guilty/. ↩︎

Illinois PoliticsIllinois NewsPoliticsNewsLaw

Associated Press Twitter

News and content from The Associated Press, which has been covering the world's most important stories since 1846.


Related Posts

Fire causes $1.25m in damage at historic Illinois mansion

A fire at the historic Haley Mansion in Joliet caused $1.25 million in damage, authorities said.

Fire causes $1.25m in damage at historic Illinois mansion

Chicago announces best monikers in snowplow naming contest

Chicago city staff chose 50 finalists and the mayor's office received more than 80,000 votes. Staff ultimately chose seven winners.

Chicago announces best monikers in snowplow naming contest

Daughter charged after mom's body found in Chicago freezer

A Chicago woman has been accused of keeping her mother's dead body in a freezer for nearly two years while living in a nearby apartment.

Daughter charged after mom's body found in Chicago freezer