New IL Gun Law Proposed in Wake of Charleston Mass Shooting

EYEWITNESS NEWS CAPITOL BUREAU --  Mourning continues in Charleston, South Carolina. Nine people murdered in a church has many wanting change. That's why Illinois lawmakers are hoping to prevent anything like that from ever happening here.

There's a proposal to tighten the state's gun laws. It's like drivers being required to have liability insurance. Lawmakers want the same for gun owners.

Richard Pearson isn't just a gun owner. He leads the state's rifle association. He says a new proposal for firearms is just one of many for next year.

But, lawmakers aren't looking to next year. They want a change now. Pearson says, when there are gun-related tragedies, it's usually followed by reform.

"We think of things like happen in South Carolina and other places," he says. "Those were [committed by legal gun owners]. And you can't insure against illegal acts."

But some lawmakers are singing a different tune.

"Carry your guns, but have your insurance," says Representative Mary Flowers (D), who is pushing the bill. She's taking it a step further than just insurance at gun ranges.  She believes a gun owner should be liable "if he ... loses his gun in a situation where someone else can get it and causes someone else harm."

She goes on to say the bill is not a restriction on firearms; it's about what's right for victims of gun violence.

"At least a person, or the family that's been harmed, could benefit from the insurance policy," she says.

But, Pearson says he's shooting down this idea saying the bill, like those before it, won't get far.

"So, this has been tried in every state in the Union. It's failed in every state of the Union," he says.

Flowers says she's getting together with staff to draft the bill. Illinois introduced a similar bill in 2009.

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