Illinois House OKs Weapons, Ammo Bans

Article excerpt

Byline: Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD The Illinois House on Tuesday voted in favor of bans on semiautomatic assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition magazines, though the proposals still face several legislative battles before they could become law.

The approved proposals were six amendments to a bill that House Speaker Michael Madigan left blank on purpose, and they were okayed in an unusual process that Madigan began using last week to allow legislators to debate at length on contentious topics. The House still must approve the full piece of legislation for it to move to the Senate, and none of the six votes taken Tuesday as lawmakers debated what would go into the measure had the same support as what is required for a bill to pass the House.

One of the amendments would make it a felony for anyone to sell, purchase or transfer a military-style assault weapon. Should the amendment become law, it would make it illegal for civilians to possess these types of weapons after a 300-day period following the measures enactment.

Chicago Democratic Rep. Edward Acevedo, who sponsored two of the amendments, said civilians shouldnt own such weapons because they were designed for "mass destruction."

"These weapons are not for hunting. ... Theyre designed to kill a group of people at one time," Acevedo said.

Acevedo said the weapons include those that were used by the shooters in the massacres at a movie theater in Colorado and at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut last year. …