Illinois assault weapons ban in trouble? Senate president not committing to floor vote

Opponents of a ban on military-style, assault weapons still hope to block it in the Illinois Senate this weekend.

"This bill is another encroachment on the Second Amendment rights that are guaranteed to each and every citizen of this state," said Rep. Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur).

The Senate plans a rare Sunday session after the Illinois House approved it very late Thursday night.

The current proposal would ban AR-15-style semi-automatic and automatic rifles, and ammo magazines containing more than 15 rounds.

"These weapons have no place in civilian society. And I believe that everybody in this chamber in their heart knows that to be true," said State Rep. Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago).

To show his support, Gov. J.B. Pritzker was on the House floor Thursday night as members debated banning new sales or transfers of so-called assault weapons.

Such a rifle was used by the mass murderer who slaughtered people at last summer's Fourth of July parade in Highland Park. It's given new emotional impetus to the proposed ban.


But opponents of the measure noted that several downstate counties have adopted resolutions declaring themselves "sanctuaries" for gun rights.

"How many counties have filed resolutions that they will not enforce this and their sheriffs' departments will not enforce it and what is the State of Illinois and the Illinois State Police gonna do to these counties," said State Rep. Charlie Meier (R-Okawville).

Senate President Don Harmon, who's sponsoring the assault weapons ban is, however, not committing to an actual floor vote, a sign the proposal could be in trouble.

The State Senate reconvenes Sunday evening.