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Illinois Bans Semiautomatic Weapons, Critics Vow Court Test

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois has outlawed automatic weapons amid a torrent of mass shootings including a 4th of July parade shooting that killed seven and injured 30.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the bill into law Tuesday after the House approved the ban 68-41. Illinois is the ninth state, as well as Washington, D.C., to prohibit the sale or possession of semiautomatic weapons. The measure bans dozens of brands or types of rifles and handguns. Those who already own such guns would have to register them. Critics vow to see a court declare it unconstitutional.

State Representatives Patrick Windhorst (R-Metropolis) and Dave Severin (R-Benton) released the following statements after the ban was signed into law by the governor.

Windhorst said, “In light of tonight’s bill signing by Governor Pritzker, law-abiding gun owners will be impacted yet again by the loss of their Second Amendment rights. In the United States of America, we have inalienable rights that are enumerated in our founding documents. These include our Second Amendment rights. Our nation’s founding documents protect rights that are sometimes unpopular. We protect the freedom of speech because sometimes, speech is unpopular. We protect the freedom of religion because some religions are not popular. We protect the freedom of the press, because sometimes, the press is not popular. The rights that we as Americans are promised in the Declaration of Independence and granted in the Constitution have been violated by the passage of this legislation and the signing of it by Governor Pritzker. The Illinois State Rifle Association has promised legal action aimed at stopping the implementation of this law. I support their effort and look forward to a favorable outcome for law-abiding gun owners.”

Severin said, “Democrats in Illinois have taken their quest to pass unconstitutional gun control legislation to the next level tonight, as Governor Pritzker has signed a bill that will make law-abiding citizens into felons for failing to comply with government managed gun registry. The Illinois State Rifle Association has pledged to sue the State of Illinois for passing this bill to stop it from being implemented. I support their planned court challenge and will continue to advocate for the Second Amendment Rights of the people of the State of Illinois and the United States of America.”

(Information provided by The Associated Press and news releases from State Reps. Severin and Windhorst.)