SPRINGFIELD — Illinois is set to become the ninth state to ban assault-style weapons.
The Illinois House has voted to pass an assault weapon ban, sending the measure to Governor JB Pritzker’s desk, which he is expected to sign into law.
After a private battle that lasted for days, Democrats, who control the legislature, moved forward with the Protect Illinois Communities Act. On Monday night, the Senate tweaked the House bill and Tuesday, the House concurred, voting 68 to 41 in favor of its passing.
The General Assembly will deliver Pritzker the bill within 30 days.
Despite some Republicans rebuking the measure’s approval, many state officials applauded the passage of an assault weapons ban by both the state House and Senate:
Gov. JB Pritzker:
“For a long time now, I and many other leaders in the Illinois General Assembly have prioritized getting the most dangerous weapons off our state’s streets. Today, honoring the commitment we made, we passed one of the strongest assault weapons bans in the nation, one I will be proud to sign.
No Illinoisan, no matter their zip code, should have to go through life fearing their loved one could be the next in an ever-growing list of victims of mass shootings. However, for too long people have lived in fear of being gunned down in schools, while worshipping, at celebrations or in their own front yards. This legislation will stop the spread of assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, and switches and make our state safer. I look forward to signing this bill immediately, so we can stop the sale of these deadly weapons as soon as possible.
My deepest thanks to Speaker Welch and Senate President Harmon for championing this historic legislation, and to Representative Morgan for his leadership on this issue.”
Lt. Juliana Governor Stratton:
Today, I am proud to begin a second term as Lieutenant Governor of Illinois. I am honored for the opportunity to serve people from all walks of life, from every community in this state, because our administration is committed to putting families first.
Thank you, Governor Pritzker, for your compassionate leadership and for fearlessly making the tough decisions that have protected and provided for this state.
Our administration has made historic investments in Education, Health Care, Infrastructure, Public Safety and Violence Prevention while providing more than $1 billion dollars in tax relief to families throughout Illinois.
I look forward to working with members of the General Assembly, local lawmakers, advocates, faith leaders, and concerned residents over the next four years to continue the work we have started.
To the voters, thank you for believing in me, and for entrusting me with this leadership role that uplifts this state and the wellbeing of all Illinoisans.
Highland Park Mayor Nancy R. Rotering:
As we continue to mourn the horrific aftermath of last year’s mass shooting in Highland Park and the gun violence losses in so many other Illinois towns and cities, we applaud the sponsors of the assault weapons ban and all ILGA members who took action to save lives, making Illinois the 9th state to ban assault weapons.
Banning assault weapons has proven to be effective at curbing gun violence, as shown by the ten-year Federal Assault Weapons ban that expired in 2004. While we know that no town or county is an island and appreciate that this state-wide ban will make it that much harder for someone with horrible intentions to obtain a combat weapon, neither is a state. This important step taken by our IL legislators sends a clear message to other states and the Federal government that we need continued bold action to address mass shootings across our nation. We urge them to continue their work towards protecting all Americans’ rights to live free from fear of gun violence.
The amended Senate bill defines which weapons are deemed assault-style and immediately bans the sale of those weapons and high-capacity magazines. It also creates a system to register the serial numbers of currently owned weapons, tracking them and preventing future sales and transfers.