Illinois Senate Passes Ban on Assault Weapons, Assault Weapons Attachments; Limits Magazines

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Springfield capitol building
Springfield capitol building (Image by Andreas H. from Pixabay)

By Greg Bishop | The Center Square

(The Center Square) – The Illinois Senate late Monday passed a bill that seeks to ban the future sale of certain semi-automatic guns and magazines with various capacities despite threats of a lawsuit that the measure is unconstitutional.

‘We’ll see you in court,’ Senate President Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, said just before the vote.

Senate Amendments to House Bill 5471 would ban the future sale of about 100 different semi-automatic pistols, shotguns and rifles. Sale of long gun magazines with more than 10 rounds and handgun magazines with more than 15 rounds would be prohibited. Both already in possession could be kept, but only on private property. Already owned guns would have to be registered with the Illinois State Police by January 2024.

State Sen. Darren Bailey, R-Xenia, expects the measure to be struck down in the courts.

“You’ve got to know that the actions that you are taking right now are tyrannous,” Bailey said. “You also must know that I and millions of other gun owners in this state will not comply.”

If approved and enacted, the bill becomes law immediately. There would be a timeframe to register such guns with Illinois State Police. Noncompliance could lead to a Class 2 felony. Possession of magazines above the limits would result in a petty offense and a fine of $1,000 for each violation.

State Sen. Julie Morrison, D-Lake Forest, said she and her constituents in Highland Park are still rebuilding after seven people were killed by a suspect with a semi-automatic rifle in the Independence Day parade last year.

“I ask each of you to picture your child, your partner, your parents and then vote on this like their lives depend on it. They do,” she said.

State Sen. Neil Anderson expects a legal challenge and an immediate stay on implementation if the measure is approved with an immediate effective date. Supporting what he said is a violation of the Second Amendment right to bear arms is a violation of elected officials’ oath, he said.

“All of us are going to raise our right hand [Wednesday with the 103rd General Assembly] and pledge an oath to uphold the constitution of Illinois and the constitution of the United States,” Anderson said. “All of you thinking about voting for this today, you should resign.”

Senate President Don Harmon expects the legal battle.

“I look forward to working with our partners in the House [Tuesday] and putting this on the governor’s desk,” Harmon said. “We’ll see you in court.”

The measure passed 34 to 20.

The House is expected to take the measure up when it returns to session Tuesday, the final day of lame-duck session in Springfield.



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