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Gov. JB Pritzker aims to get an assault weapons ban proposal ‘done in the first half of this year’

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Gov. JB Pritzker, who made banning the sale of assault weapons a key component of his successful re-election campaign this fall, is the first to voice his support for the recently announced proposal. Illinois House Democrats have included banning the sale of certain assault-style guns, barring most people under the age of 21 from obtaining a gun license, and banning high-capacity magazines.

In the first public comment since the bill was introduced, Pritzker said he hopes the bill will be passed and signed by the state legislature and the Senate by July 4, 2023.

Bill Sponsored by Rep. Bob Morgan Morgan took part in the annual parade when authorities announced that gunfire had rained down from Deerfield’s high-capacity magazine-equipped assault-style rifle.

Despite a history of making threatening remarks, the suspect legally purchased a gun after his father agreed to obtain state firearms identification when he was 19. did. Obtain a FOID card, unless you are an active duty military or member of the National Guard.

The bill also bans the sale of high-capacity ammunition depots, extends the length of time a gun ban can be held from six months to a year, and gives local prosecutors more leeway to prevent state red flags. Make changes intended to strengthen the law. role in the process. Details of the Highland Park shooting have raised questions as to whether the law may have been used to prevent the alleged shooter from purchasing the weapons used in the attack.

Pritzker said of Morgan’s bill, “I support the bill he proposed,” but the governor said, “The legislative process is a laborious process that requires longer consideration of each part of the proposal. It is possible,” he added.

Legislators could begin planning as early as next month during a lame duck session when legislators return to Springfield for their final session before the newly elected General Assembly sits on January 11. I can do it.

At another event in Chicago, Pritzker said, “Whether it happens during a lame duck session or a normal session, it’s definitely important to do it as quickly as possible. No,’ he said. “But I want to be clear that our goal is to get it done in the first half of this year.

If approved, the proposal is sure to face legal opposition from gun rights advocates, and the political calculus surrounding its passage is complex, especially since gun control measures have historically been regional and partisan. Given that it collapsed at the border of

Democrats now hold an overwhelming majority of 73-45 in the House and 41-18 in the state Senate, and voting during the lame-duck session has given some outgoing lawmakers the freedom to vote without fear of backlash in the United States. may give them the freedom to hold tough votes on issues of interest to them. ballot box. Several days of scheduled sessions will allow Democrats to move the bill forward quickly.

Waiting for new lawmakers to take office could be a double-edged sword for Democrats.

House Democrats will command a 78-40 advantage, while Senate Democrats will retain their overwhelming majority despite losing one seat in November.

At the same time, allowing the issue to carry over to a new session provides an opportunity for opponents to mobilize against the proposal and other issues to take precedence.

Rep. Bob Morgan of Deerfield arrives for the Illinois House of Representatives Democrats rally at the State Capitol in Springfield on May 30, 2019. Morgan's new proposal would ban the sale of certain Assault-his style guns and would bar most people under the age of 21 from getting a gun. Allowing and disallowing high-capacity magazines.

“Gun reform is literally a matter of life and death,” Morgan told the Tribune on Wednesday. “And I support this legislation not only to the demands of my community following the Highland Park shooting, but also to the fact that there are communities that experience gun violence every day. Therefore, all my hopes and expectations and efforts will be focused on passing this bill before the lame duck is over.”

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Morgan, who plans to introduce the proposal at a House committee hearing on Monday, said he expects “significant input” from his Democratic colleagues in the Senate and Republicans in both the House and Senate.

Tensions between Democrats in both houses of Congress have risen in recent days over gun control measures, with the Senate last year passing a bill to the House that would remove the requirement to take fingerprints when applying for identification for gun owners. sent. The Senate version eventually passed the House and was signed by Pritzker.

Pritzker said the governor’s administration and some Senate Democrats were already involved in discussions about Morgan’s proposal, and Morgan said negotiations between the House and Senate were ongoing. added that Oak Park Senator Don Harmon is “a champion of gun safety legislation and a true champion.”

“Senator Harmon will work with Governor Pritzker to protect Illinois from gun violence, end this horrific series of shootings, and set a national example of how it can be done. We look forward to building on this successful initiative,” said a Harmon spokesperson. , John Patterson said in a statement. Patterson added that Harmon’s office was not involved in detailed negotiations on the bill, but expected it to be thoroughly reviewed with members of the Senate Democratic Caucus.

As for Republicans, Morgan said, “I don’t know if the final package will have bipartisan support.”

“But that’s certainly my hope,” he said.

Pritzker similarly expressed hope that some Republican lawmakers would support a ban on assault weapons.

“There are Republicans in the suburbs, and I think they should be voting for this one in particular, and I think voters want this,” Mr. Pritzker said.

among a handful of Republicans who have backed past proposals to limit the sale of Assault-style weapon is Rep. Jim Durkin of Western Springs, who is stepping down as Republican leader in the House. Durkin said in 2018 he voted for a bill that would put a three-day waiting period on purchasing his style of assault weapons and ban their sale to anyone under the age of 21. Neither bill became law.

The AR-15 style rifle is on display at the Freddy Bear Sports Gun Store in Tinley Park on August 8, 2019.

Mr. Durkin, a former prosecutor, has taken note of his record on the issue as he calls for greater moderation from the party following the disappointing results of the November 8 election. Regarding Morgan’s proposal, Durkin said in a statement Wednesday:

Another Republican who endorsed both of these measures in 2018 is State Senator John Curran of Downers Grove, who was recently elected to lead the Senate Republican Party for the upcoming term. Curran did not respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, gun rights advocates are threatening to sue states under the Second Amendment if the measure becomes law. Negotiations on this bill. Gun rights groups are challenging a similar ban in Naperville.

“Are you mad?” Illinois Rifle Association statement Say. “Good, we too. It’s time to defend our constitutional rights as law-abiding citizens. It’s time to use our First Amendment rights to protect our Second Amendment rights.” rice field.”

dpetrella@chicagotribune.com

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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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