Moved by the shooting deaths of five students at Northern Illinois University, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley proposed another package of gun control legislation, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. Daley wants to ban semiautomatic assault weapons and .50-caliber military-grade rifles, use the State Police to license gun dealers and limit handgun purchases to one a month per person. There are a few new wrinkles, like mandating trigger locks and locked containers in homes where guns are accessible to children under 18, instead of 14. He also wants to ban the sale and possession of high-capacity magazines and require that some semiautomatic pistols be capable of microstamping ammunition to trace it.
Even though such laws would not have prevented the Northern Illinois University episode, Daley said the combination of a recent string of shootings in schools, stores and government buildings might turn the tide. “I think it's an epidemic,” Daley said. “And it's an epidemic whether or not we're becoming immune from it. It doesn't shock people. It doesn't frighten people anymore.  That's something America has to come to grips with.” National Rifle Association spokesman Andrew Arulanandam argued that it's “poor form” for the mayor to try and pass gun control legislation “on the back of a horrible tragedy.” He added: “Now is not the time for politics and policy discussion. Now is the time for the people of Illinois and the Northern Illinois University community to heal.”