City Council committee approves revised assault weapons ban and school safety zonesContinue reading.
Rahm to update Chicago’s assault weapons ban
Mayor Rahm Emanuel will move Wednesday to update and strengthen Chicago’s assault weapons ban to meet a deadline established in legislation legalizing concealed carry in Illinois.
“Weapons that are designed for the battlefield have no place on the streets of Chicago,” Emanuel was quoted as saying in a press release.
“By strengthening our ordinance, we will have a clear, comprehensive and enforceable law that continues to prevent dangerous weapons from threatening the safety of our residents. Chicago will continue to lead the way in enacting the toughest gun control measures possible while still respecting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.
The concealed carry bill on Gov. Pat Quinn’s desk gives Chicago and other municipalities ten days upon signage to pass new or updated assault weapons legislation.
The legislation to be introduced at Wednesday’s City Council meeting would prohibit the import, sale, transfer and possession of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in Chicago.
Penalties would remain the same. Violators still face fines ranging from $1,000-to-$5,000 and anywhere from 90-to-180 days in jail.
But, the new ordinance reflects advances in gun technology. It would ban a list of specifically named weapons and their equivalents.
They include: any semiautomatic rifle or handgun capable of accepting a detachable magazine and has at least one military feature; any shotgun capable of accepting a detachable magazine, has at least one military feature, or has a fixed capacity of more than five rounds; and any weapon with a fixed magazine of more than 15 rounds. Military features include “telescoping stocks, pistol grips, grenade launchers, barrel shrouds” and other features.
“We took a look at the latest in gun technology and broadened the definition of assault weapons,” said a top mayoral aide, noting that Chicago’s existing assault weapons ban includes, neither a list of banned weapons nor their specific features.
Richard Pearson, executive director of the Il. State Rifle Association, said he’s not surprised that Emanuel is updating the Chicago ban, jumping through the window opened by the Il. General Assembly.
But, he argued that Emanuel is “attacking the wrong people,” noting that assault weapons were used in only one crime last year on the streets of Chicago last year.
“To attack a firearm is pretty easy—a lot easier than getting kids to stay in school so you don’t have a 49 percent drop-out rate,” Pearson said.
“He’s trying to draw attention away from the failures of the city. Banning assault weapons won’t solve those problems.”
The concealed carry legislation that Quinn is deciding whether to sign, change or veto would allow Il. residents to obtain a five-year concealed weapons permit and carry a gun in public after completing 16 hours of training.
Concealed guns still would be banned on CTA and Metra buses and trains, and in casinos, government buildings and stadiums.
Like everyone else in Illinois, Emanuel is waiting to see what Quinn does with the concealed carry bill on his desk. If Quinn vetoes outright or significantly changes the bill with an amendatory veto, Il. House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) has boldly predicted an override.