Illinois Senator Dan Kotowski is pushing SB 1002, which would ban magazines over 10 round capacity. The bill would also impose a hefty fine and prison time for anybody who is in possession of standard capacity AR-15 magazines or other modern sporting rifles.
The bill has provoked a mixed response. Mark Barden, who lost his 7-year-old son during the Sandy Hook shooting tragedy, pleaded with Illinois legislators to support the bill. He stated, “All of those lives were taken in less than four minutes by a single gunman. He knew he could kill a lot more people [because he had high capacity magazines]. And he did.”
Barden argued that the gunman would not have been able to fire 154 bullets in such a short period of time if he had been restricted to smaller magazines.
Barden’s plea must have worked – the Senate Executive Committee passed the measure 12-3. Minority Leader Christine Radongo and Sen. Matt Murphy hopped party lines to approve the bill. Murphy said, “I think this is a chance that this bill could save lives, and I think it’s worth taking that chance.”
Gun rights advocates are furious about the bill. The Illinois State Rifle Association sent out an alert claiming that the bill “is a bold and brazen attack on the 2nd Amendment.” It goes on, “SB1002 will have no effect on the criminal use of firearms yet will infringe on the right of law-abiding citizen’s constitutional right to keep and bear arms… SB1002 is the first step towards the banning of semiautomatic rifles, pistols and shotguns.”
The statement also encourages gun rights advocates to share the information and call their Senators to voice their opposition of SB1002.
What is your stance? Do you think that limiting high capacity magazines is an effective way to lower the body count in mass shooting events without banning firearms? Or do you agree with the ISRA that this is the first step in an inevitable attempt to ban assault rifles?