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Democrats pull plug on gun, ammo bans

Democrats pull plug on gun, ammo bans

SPRINGFIELD — There’s not enough support in the Illinois Senate to impose tough new restrictions on semiautomatic weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips.

In a setback for gun-control advocates in the wake of the killings of school children in Connecticut, the Illinois Senate was poised to adjourn Thursday without voting on two pieces of legislation aimed at limiting access to certain kinds of weapons and bullets.

Although the two proposals could emerge again when the legislature reconvenes next week, the lack of action shows the General Assembly remains divided on how to balance Second Amendment issues.

A spokeswoman for Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, offered no timetable for when the gun safety proposals might surface again.

“We will take some time to work on these important issues to advance them in the near future,” Rikeesha Phelon noted in a message to reporters.

One proposal would restrict the possession, delivery, sale and transfer of semiautomatic weapons, including handguns and rifles.

The National Rifle Association lobbied against the measure, saying the ban would take as many as 50 percent of long guns off the market in Illinois. Gun manufacturers also said the proposal could force them to lay off workers.

The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Antonio Munoz, D-Chicago, would allow people who currently own such weapons to keep them as long as they register the firearms with the Illinois State Police.

Sen. Dan Kotowski, D-Park Ridge, sponsored the proposal that would limit ammunition magazines to 10 or fewer rounds.

Gov. Pat Quinn has pushed for a ban on assault-style weapons, but a spokeswoman recently suggested action could come later this spring.


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