Sizing up a state assault weapon ban in Illinois – Axios

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering attended a White House event yesterday to mark the passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act on gun control.

  • But, at least publicly, Pritzker wants gun reform to go even further.

Why it matters: The governor is calling for a statewide ban on the kind of automatic weapons used in last week’s mass shooting in Highland Parkat the same time President Biden is pushing to reinstate the 1994 assault weapons ban.

What they’re saying: “We need to ban assault weapons, not just in the state of Illinois, but nationally,” Pritzker told CNN.

  • “The name of the weapon that this shooter was using is the Smith & Wesson M&P15. You know what M&P stands for? ‘Military and police,’ and that’s who perhaps should have these weapons. Not civilians being able to just walk in and buy one.”

Context: Pritzker has been talking up gun control measures since Highland Park, but he and Democrats in the General Assembly postponed a special session this week that could have addressed the issue.

Yes, but: Some state Democrats have already started the process.

  • State Rep. Deb Conroy introduced a bill that would deny or revoke a firearm owner’s identification card for anyone who attempts to cause physical self-harm or harm to others.

State of play: Democratic state Rep. Bob Morgan, who was at the Highland Park parade, told the Sun-Times that “everything has to be on the table.”

  • “If anyone’s going to reject any single solution, well, they’re going to hear about that from me.”

Between the lines: Pritzker has always supported an assault weapons ban, but the Democratic-controlled Legislature didn’t appear to have the political will to pass anything in the spring session.

What’s next: A rescheduled date for the special session has not been announced.

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July 12, 2022 at 07:11AM

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