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Governmental Watchdogs

Democrats call for ban on assault weapons in Illinois

todayJanuary 24, 2019

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SPRINGFIELD (Illinois News Network) — Illinois Democrats have introduced an ambitious gun control bill that would ban the sale or unregistered possession of dozens of firearms labeled as assault weapons.

Sen. Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) introduced Senate Bill 107 Wednesday, which would prohibit a range of rifles, pistols and shotguns and require every such weapon in the state to be registered with the Illinois State Police. Owners would pay a $25 fee for that registration. A person found in possession of one of the prohibited weapons without registration could face a Class 3 felony, which carries a prison sentence of up to five years and a $25,000 fine.

Morrison wasn’t immediately available for comment on her legislation.

Illinois State Rifle Association President Richard Pearson said he wasn’t surprised that Democrats would use their new super-majorities in the General Assembly and a cooperative governor’s office to push for a ban.

“This bill overreaches. It bans common firearms,” he said. “It’s not really about crime. It’s about taking firearms away from law-abiding people.”

Pearson said the association would challenge the law in court if it’s passed.

The bill includes a provision for punishment of up to three years in prison for owning any type of assault weapon attachment. It would only allow a person passing through the state with one of the named firearms 24 hours before they would have to leave with it, lest they be arrested on felony charges.

Illinois reported 1,490 gun deaths in 2017, the most recent year available, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Reporting by Cole Lauterbach

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The Center Square -- formerly known as Watchdog.org and the Illinois News Network -- and their reporters represent 18 states across the United States as the taxpayers' watchdog, exposing the way government really works.

Written by: The Center Square

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