SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — After a mass shooting earlier this year, one state legislator is trying to ban the sale of some guns in the state.
Rep. Bob Morgan (D-Deerfield) filed a bill that would ban sales of semi-automatic rifles and magazines that hold over 10 rounds. It additionally would raise the age of most gun ownership in the state to 21, with exceptions for members of the National Guard.
“It is time that we had the political courage to admit that guns are a problem, and that we can do something about it,” Morgan said. “This gun reform package will reduce gun deaths in Illinois, and it is long past time for us to step up and reform the laws which have enabled this gun violence to continue.”
Morgan represents Highland Park among other Chicago suburbs and was at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade that turned deadly. He led a working group on gun violence created after the tragedy.
“The idea that this mass shooting could happen at any Fourth of July parade in the entire state of Illinois resonated,” he said. “When I heard after the Fourth of July from peoples from all over the state, Democrats and Republicans, this is a majority supported concept, and we’re going to get this done.”
Kathleen Sanches, President of the Gun Violence Prevention Action Committee, said the ban would be important for the safety of communities across the state.
“These weapons make shootings more deadly and more fatal,” Sanches said. “In one minute in Highland Park, 83 shots were fired in one minute. Now, if that shooter had to stop and reload, lives would have been saved.”
Gun-rights advocates are speaking out against the bill. Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association, said they’re “absolutely opposed” to any additional restrictions.
“If they want to talk about putting criminals in jail, okay, we’ll talk about them,” Pearson said. “They want to talk about proper enforcement laws, we’ll talk about that. But they want to talk about banning things from law abiding citizens that have never committed a crime, never done anything, going through a background check every night of the week that were opposed to that.”
Morgan filed the bill with the intention for it to pass in the lame duck session days of 2023. The bill would only need a simple majority to pass both chambers during the session which Democrats have.