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Munoz030818SPRINGFIELD – Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson joined gun safety advocates this morning at a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing to support several proposals aimed at preventing gun violence and mass shootings.

The committee took subject-matter testimony on five proposals that would separately increase both the waiting period and the age to purchase an assault weapon, ban “bump stocks,” increase mental health screenings for individuals wishing to obtain a FOID card and ban large ammunition feeding devices and body armor in response to the shooting death of Commander Paul Bauer last month.

“As a city, we’re still heartbroken. We must remain committed to never forgetting Paul Bauer and being there as a support for his wife and daughter to recognize the enormous debt that we, as a society, can never repay,” Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said in support of House Bill 1469. “One of the things we can and should do is take every step that we can to prevent this from happening again.”

House Bill 1469, sponsored by Senator Tony Munoz (D-Chicago), would prohibit large capacity ammunition feeding devices and the use of body armor. Munoz is also proposing House Bill 1465, which would ban the sale or transfer of an assault weapon, assault weapon attachment, .50 caliber rifle or large capacity magazine to an individual under the age of 21. This legislation is in response to 13 people being shot by assault-style rifles last May in two of the neighborhoods Munoz represents.

”There’s no reason for anyone, especially under the age of 21, to be in possession of an assault rifle. Too often, these weapons are used to commit crimes and terrorize our communities,” Munoz said. “As we have seen in incidents nationwide, we are far beyond the time to take action on gun violence.”

Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) spoke this morning in support of House Bill 1468, which would increase the waiting period to purchase an assault weapon from 24 to 72 hours.
“Increasing the waiting period to purchase an assault weapon ensures sufficient time to complete a background check and increases the ‘cooling off’ period for those who may cause harm to others,” said Morrison. “Requiring a 72-hour waiting period is a commonsense reform that will help keep our neighborhoods safe.”

Also heard this morning was Senator Kwame Raoul’s (D-Chicago) House Bill 1664 that would increase mental health screenings for individuals wishing to obtain a FOID card and House Bill 1467 that would ban “bump stocks,” an attachment that enables a weapon to fire faster. Bump stocks were used in the shooting death of 58 people in Las Vegas in October.

“We’ve made incredible progress in the area of criminal justice reform, passing laws like the Safe Neighborhoods Reform Act that keep repeat offenders like the man who shot Commander Bauer off the streets,” Raoul said. “But there’s more work to be done. Communities in my district are plagued with daily, ongoing violence. We need to have an ongoing conversation rather than just quickly outraged by the latest mass shooting.”

Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Firearms Chairman Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) led today’s hearing that took place at the Bilandic Building in downtown Chicago.

"We need to move quickly to enact comprehensive gun safety laws,” Harmon said. “Every day that we stall, more carnage is occurring in my district and around the state. We should not stop at measures that are easy to vote for; we must push forward with difficult, but necessary, action."

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