Both sides gear up for Illinois assault weapon ban fight

Both sides gear up for Illinois assault weapon ban fight
AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File

I’ve always been a little surprised that Illinois didn’t already have an assault weapon ban on the books. After all, they’re not exactly a gun-friendly state by any stretch of the imagination. Yet, they don’t have one.


However, some there are hoping to change that following the shooting in Highland Park.

Now, both sides are gearing up for the coming fight.

In the ongoing debate around proposed gun control legislation at the Illinois statehouse, advocacy groups on both sides are working to advance their positions.

Several Illinois state representatives on the working group that crafted the proposed prohibition of certain semi-automatic firearms and magazines in House Bill 5855 were on the advocacy side of the gun control debate before becoming lawmakers, like state Rep. Maura Hirschauer.

“Before I was in office, I was an advocate and community advisor with Moms Demand Action,” Hirschauer, D-Batavia, said during Monday’s House hearing on the bill. “So I wore red shirts just like many of the people are wearing in this room today.”

State Rep. Denyse Stoneback, D-Skokie, also came from the gun control advocacy space.

On the other side, there are several groups promoting the rights of gun owners, including Guns Save Life, Federal Firearms Licensees of Illinois representing gun stores and the Illinois State Rifle Association.

ISRA Vice President David Lombardo said he has warned that this level of gun control could be coming for years.

“The ISRA will not be entering into any negotiations on this piece of legislation,” Lombardo said in a video posted to the group’s website. “You’ve wanted to draw a line in the sand for a long time? OK. Now it’s time to draw that line. We will see the state of Illinois in court if this law is enacted. But we have a problem.”


Lombardo is right. This was coming for a while. Highland Park just gave them the pretext to try and push an assault weapon ban through.

They wanted it for years.

And, let’s be honest, the chances are strong that they’ll actually get it through. Again, this is Illinois. They’re not exactly a pro-gun state, what with anti-gun Chicago driving so much of their state politics, so it’s always been a matter of time.

However, as I noted in an earlier post, they shouldn’t get too far ahead of themselves on this. It’s unlikely that such bans will survive a Supreme Court challenge and it’s also just a matter of time before that challenge happens.

Based on the standards laid out in Bruen, there’s not much chance of an assault weapon ban surviving.

Then, all the effort being put into this will be for naught, but it will also represent a waste of time that could have been better served looking at possible solutions that respect the right to keep and bear arms.

Of course, this is Illinois. They don’t care about that right all that much and we all know it. It’s unlikely anyone there will care if rights are restricted and they’re too preoccupied to consider how any such ban is going to be a temporary measure at best.


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