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home : news : local   May 29, 2016

3/6/2013 6:00:00 AM
Mautino: Semi-automatic guns plan 'flawed'

The Associated Press

By Regina Garcia Cano
Associated Press Writer

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois House on Tuesday voted in favor of bans on semi-automatic 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 measure’s enactment.
Chicago Democratic Rep. Edward Acevedo, who sponsored two of the amendments, said civilians shouldn’t own such weapons because they were designed for “mass destruction.”
“These weapons are not for hunting. ... They’re 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.
But some Democrats and Republicans argued that the state shouldn’t decide what guns people should be allowed to have to protect their families.
Rep. Frank Mautino, a Spring Valley Democrat, also argued that a “fatal flaw” in Acevedo’s assault-weapon possession proposal was that it does not address what current assault-weapon owners should do with their firearms.
Mautino said the bill “accidentally makes felons of tens of thousands of Illinois citizens” who already own a military-style weapon.
The amendments were approved with Democratic votes only.
Republicans refused to cast votes. GOP Rep. Dennis Reboletti of Elmhurst said Madigan’s procedure puts politics before public safety.
“Why do we continue to play these games of going amendment by amendment?” Reboletti said.
Republicans have strongly opposed Madigan’s new floor-debate style. He has also used his “weekly order of business” process to discuss concealed carry and pension proposals, and Republicans also refused to vote on pension amendments Thursday.
Halfway through Tuesday’s debate, someone on the Republican sided shouted, “Stop the circus!”
Tuesday’s amendments also called for forcing individuals who would be exempted from the ban, such as members of the armed forces and jail wardens, to store their guns with a locking device that renders them inoperable or under a key or combination lock.
The bill is HB1156.

Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, March 7, 2013
Article comment by: METALWORKER

And yet the High Court agrees that the second amendment is not that cut and dried. That court say's that reasonable restraints can be put on the types and uses of guns, so by your way of thinking your right to own and use a gun trump my right to life.
Oh, and by the way, explain to me how hiding a weapon on your person makes you safer.
I would think that if someone wanted to rob you the sight of a gun might make them think twice but I do not believe that does she or dose she not would be much of a deterrent.
In all of my life. in all kids of situations, in and out of the military, I have never felt less safe than right now with so many nuts hollering their coming to get you, arm your self.
How do you know who is they? All of you want a strong military as long as it is not you or yours. as long as it is someone else and you can have the same weapons so you can protect yourself from them. Sounds loony, does it not? But that is just what you are saying.

Posted: Thursday, March 7, 2013
Article comment by: fosterbw99

I am a responsible gun owner and I’m tired of our Second Amendment rights being eroded by legislation adopted in a climate of fear and ignorance. We already have over 20,000 gun laws that, when enforced, prevent irresponsible, unstable, or criminal people from obtaining weapons. I will work hard to defeat those who compromise with the Anti-Second Amendment lobby and will work harder to elect those who stand strong in support of our freedoms.

Posted: Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Article comment by: Amy Flanery

"Chicago Democratic Rep. Edward Acevedo, who sponsored two of the amendments, said civilians shouldn’t own such weapons because they were designed for “mass destruction.”
“These weapons are not for hunting. ... They’re designed to kill a group of people at one time,” Acevedo said."

Does it concern anyone else that our state representatives don't seem to know what the 2nd amendment was for? Civilians have the right to "bear arms" so we can defend ourselves from the government. It is not so we can hunt. It's like another "check" on the government's power, knowing that the people have the means to fight. I hope we wouldn't NEED to use it, but when the government starts saying, "put down your weapons, you don't need them" ... I start to think maybe we do.

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