Illinois Governor Talks Gun Control with Sportsmen

Article excerpt

Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar, under fire for proposing to ban some assault weapons, took time Saturday afternoon for a round of trap at the Edwardsville Gun Club, the country's oldest gun club.

"The people here know how to use guns responsibly. I share their interest in protecting the rights of hunters and sportsmen," Edgar said.

Edgar portrayed himself as holding the line against extremists in the Legislature who want to ban all guns.

Edgar, a Republican, originally proposed to ban up to 90 kinds of semiautomatic and assault weapons. He now has scaled back his plan to cover just 17 weapons not generally used in sports and competitive shooting.

Edgar indicated that Democratic leaders in the House and Senate were trying to embarrass him politically by reintroducing his original bill with the 90 weapons, which has failed in the Legislature three times this spring.

Club member Jim Peterson was more impressed with the governor's marksmanship - he hit the first two targets dead-on - than with his rhetoric. …