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Illinois House Approves Controversial Measure that Would Invalidate Local Gun Control Laws

| by Dabney Bailey
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The Illinois House approved a highly controversial plan that would overturn local gun ordinances, including Chicago’s ban on assault rifles.

Illinois lawmakers are struggling to come up with new legislation following federal court ruling that requires Illinois to adopt a concealed carry law by June 9. House Speaker Michael Madigan (D) responded by drafting a gun plan that would require the police to issue a permit to applicants who have a Firearm Owners Identification card, complete training, pass a background check, and pay a $150 fee.

The law would also specify no-gun zones such as public transportation and it would overturn local gun control laws.

That last part worries Illinois Democrats. Chicago has a ban on assault rifles, so this bill would lift the ban and allow Chicago citizens to buy AR-15s, AK-47s, and other assault-style firearms.

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"This legislation is wrong for Illinois. It was wrong yesterday in committee, it's wrong today, and it's wrong for the future of public safety in our state," said Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D). He added, "The principle of home rule is an important one. As written, this legislation is a massive overreach that would repeal critical gun safety ordinances. I will not support this bill and I will work with members of the Illinois Senate to stop it in its tracks."

Madigan and Rep. Brandon Phelps, a Democrat who supports gun rights and the bill’s sponsor, argue that a universal state-wide law will cut down on confusion and contradictions. From there, the state legislature would be able to gradually add more restrictions in order to maintain a universal set of gun control laws.

Gov. Quinn and other Democrats, like Senate President John Cullerton of Chicago, oppose the notion. The federal ruling only requires the state to adopt concealed carry provisions, so they argue that rewriting gun laws and lifting local gun restrictions is an overreach.

This bill represents hope for gun rights advocates, but with Gov. Quinn and other Democrats vowing to oppose the bill, Madigan’s gun law might be a lost cause.

Source: ABC News