Illinois House passes amended assault weapons ban, bill now heads to governor's desk

The Illinois House passed amended House Bill 5471 Tuesday afternoon, which bans assault weapons and high-capacity magazines from being manufactured or sold in the state.

The bill now heads to the governor’s desk.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker, House Speaker Emanuel "Chris" Welch and Senate President Don Harmon issued the following joint statement about the ban Monday, saying: 

"After continued negotiations between the leaders, stakeholders and advocates, we have reached a deal on one of the strongest assault weapons bans in the country. Gun violence is an epidemic that is plaguing every corner of this state and the people of Illinois are demanding substantive action. With this legislation we are delivering on the promises Democrats have made and, together, we are making Illinois’ gun laws a model for the nation." 

Democrats in the state capitol were fighting among themselves Monday over details of the proposed assault weapons ban.

Harmon said a version approved by the Illinois House over the weekend had some serious flaws.

"It’s a bit out of date and also contains an exemption for an AR-15 model. There is arguably no weapon more associated with mass murders than the AR-15 assault rifle," said Harmon (D-Oak Park). "The list in this proposal contains no such exemption. Similarly, the TEC-9 is on the list, but the TEC-22, a different caliber version of the same assault weapon is not, although it is just as deadly."

In addition to banning new sales of and possession of new military-style weapons, gun control advocates would require current owners of such firearms to register them with the state by make and serial number. And they'd limit how many rounds could be loaded at one time into the weapons.


While Chicago police have recovered ammo magazines with 50 to as many as 250 rounds, Springfield's considering a limit of 10 to 15 rounds.

As they have for decades, opponents argue that guns don't kill people.

"We don't ban automobiles when someone drives through a crowd at a parade. We don't ban knives, hatchets, baseball bats," said Jay Keller of the National Shooting Sports Foundation. "But here we are because we're gonna feel good about passing this legislation and moving it forward, when it doesn't address the real issue. And the real issue is the individual."