SPRINGFIELD – Just six months ago, tragedy struck the Highland Park community when a gunman opened fire on the community 4th of July parade, killing seven and injuring dozens more. In the days and months since, State Senator Julie Morrison has been on the front lines fighting tirelessly for a statewide assault weapons ban – which successfully passed Monday.120122CM0390

“We can no longer allow mass shootings to be part of our norm,” said Morrison (D-Lake Forest), who represents Highland Park. “This is a long overdue step toward keeping communities safer.”

In response to the Highland Park shooting and other mass shootings across the nation, Morrison was part of ongoing conversations to pass House Bill House Bill 5471. House Bill 5471 bans assault weapons and high-capacity magazines from being sold in Illinois.

The 4th of July shooting punctuated a six-week period in which mass shooters using semi-automatic weapons killed more than 40 people in Buffalo, Uvalde, Texas, Tulsa and Highland Park combined. 

“Military-style weapons, designed for war and not for sport, have no use on our streets and in our neighborhoods,” said Morrison. “At a time of continued inaction in Washington, it is imperative we step up as a state to regulate assault weapons before more lives are lost.”

Studies show that approximately one-third of public mass shooting events include the use of an assault weapon, and nearly 40% involve a high-capacity magazine. When an assault weapon and/or a high-capacity magazine is used in a public mass shooting, nearly 14 times as many people are injured, and twice as many people are killed. Not only are there more injuries when assault weapons are used, but the types of injuries are far worse.

Senator Morrison first led an assault weapons ban bill in 2017, but it was not brought up for a final vote. In the years since, Morrison successfully passed the state’s red flag law, allowing family members, household members and law enforcement to obtain a civil order to temporarily remove firearms from people who pose a risk of harm to themselves or others. 

“When it comes to assault weapons, we cannot continue to act as though we don’t have a serious problem with gun violence in this country,” Morrison said. “The ease with which firearms and attachments that cause mass carnage are available is unacceptable and it is time we act.”

House Bill 5471 passed the Senate Monday. It now heads to the House for final consideration.