Illinois Senate Adjourns Without Vote on Assault Weapons Ban, to Resume Session Monday

While Illinois state senators debated a bill to help address the statewide bus driver shortage and another dealing with the length of windmill blades Sunday, the focus for many was on whether lawmakers would bring a proposed assault weapons ban for a vote.

The Illinois House earlier this week voted 64-to-43 in favor of the Protect Illinois Communities Act, a 77-page bill that serves as a legislative response to the tragic shooting at the Fourth of July parade in Highland Park last year that left seven people dead and dozens others injured.

“Every single vote that came through, it was just, my heart just lifted every day, my heart just lifted,” said Ashbey Beasley, a survivor of the Highland Park mass shooting. Even though the measure wasn’t voted on Sunday night, Beasley says she’s confident the Illinois Senate will pass the ban, which if approved, would move to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s desk.

Pritzker has said he’ll sign the legislation.

“We have until the 11th of January to get this through in the lame duck session,” Beasley said earlier this week. “And we are just staying really optimistic. We’re looking forward to seeing this go to the senate.”

The measure passed by the House would make it illegal to sell or purchase any assault weapon in the state of Illinois. It would also make it illegal to possess such a weapon 300 days after the final passage of the bill. However, the versions of the legislation passed by the House and the one currently being considered by the Senate include differences.

In a tweet Sunday, Pritzker said Illinois needs a bill “that meets the urgency of now” and the current version “falls short.”

“The people of this state deserve a real assault weapons ban, one that has a real accounting of the weapons currently in circulation and a real chance at ceasing the flow of more weapons of war immediately…” he said, in part.

Gun rights activists plan to put up a legal fight if the Senate passes the legislation.

The Illinois State Rifle Association has questioned the legality of the bill.

“We believe that this is unconstitutional,” stated Richard Pearson, IRSA executive director. “And so if it goes further, and you get to the senate and the governor signs, it will, of course, be back and take it to court.”

Sunday night’s legislative session wrapped up at around 7:30 p.m. State lawmakers will be back at 9 a.m. Monday, with the Senate Executive Committee planning hearings on firearms and reproductive rights.

All state senators will return to session at 1:30 p.m. after the inauguration of Gov. J.B. Pritzker and other statewide officeholders.

Region: Chicago,Local,City: Chicago

via Local – NBC Chicago

January 8, 2023 at 09:55PM

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