Hearing discusses Morrison plan that would give municipalities ability to ban assault weaponsCHICAGO – Advocates in support of restoring the ability of Illinois municipalities to ban assault weapons testified in favor of a proposal introduced by State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) at a Senate committee this morning in Chicago.

“Military-style weapons, designed for war and not for sport, have no use on our streets and in our neighborhoods,” Mark Walsh with the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence said.

Morrison’s proposal, contained in Senate Bill 2130, restores Illinois municipalities’ right to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Current Illinois law prohibits municipalities from enacting assault weapon bans. The practice was legal until 2013, when the controversial law allowing Illinois residents to carry concealed weapons was passed.

“The proposal that was discussed today is entirely permissive and puts the power in local communities hands,” Morrison said. “With continued inaction in Washington and Springfield, I believe we must give local communities who want to protect their neighborhoods the ability to do so.”

North Suburban Highland Park was one community that enacted an assault weapons ban before the state prohibition went into effect.

“Fortunately, we do not have a gun problem in Highland Park. But neither did Newtown, DeKalb or Aurora, and I did not want my town to be the next,” Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering said. “We ask today that you allow all Illinois communities the right to choose whether to have that conversation.”

While today’s hearing was subject-matter only, Morrison is hopeful continued discussion of the issue will lead to increased support and passage of the plan. 

“I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure we are doing everything possible to protect neighborhoods across the state from senseless gun violence,” Morrison said.

Joining Senator Morrison in support of the plan included Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering and representatives from Moms Demand Action, the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence and Peaceful Communities.

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