Gun legislation debate continues in Springfield in aftermath of Texas school shooting

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- On a day in which America saw another fatal school shooting, new gun legislation is before the General Assembly in Illinois.

This week the senate passed a measure to require gun dealers certify their federal license with state police. It also imposes penalties on private dealers who fail to keep records of private sales.

Also, lawmakers are considering a 72-hour cooling period for assault-style purchases.

Governor Rauner amended the cooling off bill to include all guns this week as well. And he proposed reinstating the death penalty for mass murderers and cop killers.

But gun violence is complicated issue. Will any of these proposals make a difference?

WGN News asked two experts to breakdown what’s on the table and whether or not the proposals will reduce gun violence.

Phil Andrew is is a victim of Laurie Dann, a mentally ill woman, who shot him back in the late 1980s. He’s also a former FBI agent, thinks the laws could make a difference.

“Just because this is a difficult problem doesn’t mean that we do nothing,” he said. “Having background checks, universal background checks, “red flag laws” that remove guns from dangerous people, age limits on who can buy and guns and the restrictions of the capacity on guns that we make available to the public - these are all things that are going make a difference.”

Linda Teplin, a professor of psychiatry at Northwestern, suggests it’s hard to determine whether the Springfield measures will help.

“We don’t know if bills like this can be effective because we’ve not given them a chance. What we do know is that we cannot predict who among people at risk will become the violent shooter,” she said.

Governor Rauner is proposing sending tax money to school districts to allow them to fund school resource officers who can combat an active shooter.

Calling Friday’s shooting in Texas a “horrible tragedy,” Governor urged the legislature to act saying, “I introduced a package that’s comprehensive to take on these horrible crimes.”

Andrew says school resource officers are fine, but the Republican governor should consider some of the more controversial bills.

“I think we should do what we need to do to protect schools but there’s so much more we can do proactively. But the governor needs to take a hard look at the legislation that’s been sent to him,” he said.