The push for a ban on so-called assault weapons and high capacity magazines is growing stronger in Illinois, with the city council in Highland Park unanimously approving a resolution this week calling for both a statewide and federal ban on modern sporting rifles. Democrats have a supermajority in the state legislature, and there’s been talk that Gov. J.B. Pritzker will call lawmakers back for a special session this fall to approve several bills protecting access to abortion, but gun control legislation could also be considered during the session in just a few weeks.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Democrats in Springfield are mostly pondering when to push these new restrictions, not whether or not these gun control measures are worth supporting at all.
There is internal debate over whether to bring up legislative proposals before the November election — and expose some Downstate Democrats to a vote they would rather avoid — or wait for the fall veto session, which takes place after the election. The state House needs 71 yes votes to make any bill effective immediately and 60 votes for a 2023 effective date.
So what could be on the table when lawmakers start moving bills? The resolution approved by Highland Park may provide some evidence of what anti-gun Democrats will be focusing on.
The Highland Park resolution calls for state and federal actions on assault weapons, with a ban on large capacity bullet magazines being called for because it allows, as the resolution noted, a shooter to “fire at large numbers of people without taking time to reload, thereby dramatically increasing the number of lives shattered by gun violence.”
Specifically the Highland Park resolution called for Congress and the state of Illinois to ban the manufacture, purchase, sale, possession and use of all semi-automatic weapons; high capacity ammunition cartridges and body armor, except as needed by military and law enforcement.
The resolution called for legislation strengthening red flag laws “to better allow law enforcement, family members, employers and school employees to seek restraining orders against an individual suspected of being a clear and present danger to themselves and others.”
The resolution also demands that “the state of Illinois to enact stricter rules for the issuance of Firearms Owners Identification Cards” and calls for the state “to more rigorously screen applicants for FOID cards and make more comprehensive use of clear and present danger reporting data.”