SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — With the stroke of his pen, Governor JB Pritzker made Illinois the ninth state to ban assault-style weapons.
The governor and supporters of the measure say the passage is long overdue.
“Today, I couldn’t be prouder to say that, ‘we got it done,’” Pritzker said. “We got this done for all the victims. The spouses, the children, parents, friends, and loved ones who are no longer with us, and for those who have survived mass shootings.”
Passing gun legislation is never easy. After a private battle that lasted for days, Democrats, who control the legislature, moved forward. Pritzker’s signature comes after the Illinois House voted to pass an assault weapon ban. The 68 to 41 vote took place after the Senate approved an amended bill on Monday that bans the sale, delivery, and purchase of assault-style weapons.
Owners of such guns can keep them, but they must register them with state police by Jan 1. Failure to do so is a misdemeanor and then a possible felony for subsequent offenses.
Also, the sale of large-capacity ammunition magazines — more than 10 rounds for long guns and 15 rounds for handguns — are banned.
Illinois State Police will be allowed to update the ban list periodically.
Before the vote, Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch claimed victory.
“It’s time that we protect Illinois communities. It’s time that we protect Illinois families,” he said.
Republicans rallied against the measure calling it unconstitutional.
“Unfortunately, this bill again is not going to stop gun violence. It is not going to protect our most vulnerable neighborhoods or our most vulnerable children,” said Illinois Rep. Toni McCombie.
“We have constitutional rights in our country. They protect our freedoms from the government. They are not rights that are given to us by the government,” added Illinois Rep. Patrick Windhurst.
The lone Republican ‘yes’ came from outgoing House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, who said he hoped his vote would honor the mass shooting victims at Highland Park’s Fourth of July parade.