CHICAGO — A week after three days-worth of testimonial hearings took place on House Bill 5855 — legislation aiming to put an assault weapons ban in place in Illinois — an anti-gun violence group continues to advocate for the bill’s passing.
‘Protect Illinois Communities’ has bought time on Chicago TV, cable streaming and digital with a mother’s emotional plea to pass the ban on assault-style weapons.
“No parent should ever lose their child to gun violence,” said Mary Dieudonne-Hill. “So the way I honor her is to stand up and speak out. We have to all wake up and protect our children.”
Dieudonne-Hill’s 19-year-old daughter was away at North Carolina A&T working toward earning a degree in computer science when a gunman opened fire at a house party near campus, killing her daughter. Since that day in 2016, Dieudonne-Hill has been on a mission to keep her daughter’s memory alive through advocacy.
“Whether this happens to my child or any other child, somebody needs to speak out against it because I don’t want a parent to feel what I feel,” Dieudonne-Hill said.
HB 5855 would end the sale of assault-style weapons and allow registration of existing weapons, on top of preventing the sale of ammunition magazines holding more than 10 rounds and banning firearm sales to anyone under the age of 21.
The Democratic-led majority in Springfield hopes to pass the measure within the next two weeks.
Gun rights advocates say the bill would make criminals out of law-abiding gun owners and that it does nothing to lift up the communities most affected by gun violence.
“When sworn into office, legislators swear an oath to uphold and defend the United States and Illinois Constitutions. This proposed gun ban is unconstitutional, restricts the law-abiding who wish to protect their families, hurts Illinois manufacturers, and does nothing to address the root causes of homicidal violence. I oppose the bill on those grounds,” said House Republican Leader-Elect Tony McCombie.