Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and about a dozen state lawmakers yesterday urged the legislature to pass a statewide ban on assault weapons during its November veto session, the Associated Press reports. The ban would cover the same weapons included in a federal ban that expired last month and outlawed 19 types of military-style semiautomatic weapons. Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association, said the federal assault weapons ban had no effect on crime nationally and a state ban would hurt hunters and sportsmen.
State Sen. John Cullerton, D-Chicago, introduced a bill that would make the federal assault weapons ban part of Illinois law, but it never reached a vote during the regular legislative session. Cullerton expects the issue to be considered during the Legislature’s veto session, which begins Nov. 8. Pearson said Cullerton and Democratic leaders “have declared war on the gun owners of Illinois. This seems to be an unwise move on the eve of the election.” Several states — including California, Massachusetts, New York and Hawaii — have enacted their own assault weapons bans, while about a half dozen others have introduced bills to create bans at the state level, Madigan said.