Assault rifle, AR-15

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) — New legislation was introduced by Illinois Democrats on Thursday that could ban assault weapons in the state.

The Protect Illinois Communities Act, or HB5855, was introduced by House Firearm Safety & Reform Working Group Chair, State Rep. Bob Morgan (D-Deerfield).

Rep. Morgan, who represents Highland Park and several other northern suburbs, said, “Gun violence is destroying families and communities from East St. Louis to Highland Park to Chicago, and this moment demands urgency. It is time that we had the political courage to admit that guns are a problem, and that we can do something about it. This gun reform package will reduce gun deaths in Illinois, and it is long past time for us to step up and reform the laws which have enabled this gun violence to continue.” 

The package aims to ban assault weapons, limit the kind of marketing gun manufacturers/retailers can perform, establish a state-wide team to combat illegal guns coming in across state lines, remove the ability of people under 21 to own firearms with some exceptions, and strengthen firearm restraining order laws.

“Whether you’re in the city, or the suburbs, or in a rural area, the reality is gun violence is affecting every corner of our state,” said Rep. La Shawn K. Ford, who serves as part of a gun safety working group in the House. “Particularly when it comes to our youth, we are losing an alarming number of our children every year. Every loss is a lasting tragedy that permanently scars families, friends and communities. We have to take action.”

House Democrats plan to discuss the legislation at subject matter hearings. The bill will first be heard in early December.

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