Should the state of Illinois ban assault weapons?
That's the plan Gov. Pat Quinn proposed Tuesday. The Chicago Democrat used his amendatory veto power to call for changes in a bill related to in-state ammunition sales.
"For a long time, I believed in banning assault weapons in our state, and also banning large capacity ammunition magazines that go with those assault weapons. So, this morning I amendatorily vetoed a bill that arrived at my desk in order to give the legislature an opportunity to put into law a ban on assault weapons in Illinois, and a ban on large capacity ammunition magazines. I think this is a time for our state legislature to come together and vote on a very important public safety measure for our state," Quinn said Tuesday.
His proposal prohibits the manufacture, delivery, sale and possession of semi-automatic assault weapons and attachments. That specifically includes the AK-47 and AR-15.
Governor Quinn's proposal comes after July 20th's deadly Colorado movie shooting that left 12 people dead, and 58 others injured.
â??I think all of us in America, when we woke up that Friday morning, knew that something terrible had happened, not just to the people in that movie theater, but to all us, and itâ??s imperative that we act. Not to stand by. And so thatâ??s what Iâ??m doing. I would say that, that was certainly reminded to me on Friday night, when I met the mom and dad of John Larimer, 27 years-old. Heâ??s the exact same age as my youngest son, and he graduated from high school at the same time as my youngest son. And he lost his life to an assault weapon with these deadly ammunition magazines carrying round after round that was poured into the movie theater. So itâ??s time to act, and I think itâ??s time for all of us to come together in our state capital and vote. Iâ??ve provided the opportunity for the legislature to do so, and I think it will make our state a better place if we enact this law," Quinn said.
Sen. John Sullivan says Quinn's actions are unconstitutional and a publicity stunt.
"I do feel like the governor has taken what was a very tragic situation in Colorado and basically, is trying to capitalize on it what he perceives as his own good, which is not the way things should work. If we need to have a discussion in Illinois about legislation and gun regulation and that, let's have that discussion," Sullivan said.A handful of states have assault weapons bans, including New Jersey and Massachusetts .
â??I think itâ??s very clear that these particular weapons are not designed to do anything, but to have human targets. and I think itâ??s time for us as a people in Illinois to enact legislation similar theyâ??ve done in California, Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, to ban these particular weapons. I think the safety of the people of Illinois will be enhanced, by this particular measure enacted into law. We have pursuant to our constitution in Illinois an opportunity for the governor to take a bill that arrive at his desk and make it better. Thatâ??s what Iâ??ve done this morning. I expect the legislature to address this issue, to vote on this issue, and to hopefully approve this issue and make this the law of the land. The law of the land of Lincoln," Quinn said.
A federal ban expired in 2004 and attempts to revive it have been unsuccessful.
Sullivan does not think this ban will survive the house and senate.
"I think the bottom line is, we will try to get the bill called during the veto session so we can override the veto. As I said earlier, it passed with large majorities in both chambers, we should have the vote to override this, but ultimately, it will be up to the sponsor of the bill," Sullivan said.
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