- Published: Wednesday, March 14, 2018 01:49 PM
SPRINGFIELD – A bipartisan group in the Illinois Senate took part in a symbolic walkout Wednesday to demand gun control in solidarity with the nation’s youth, then accompanied the move with practical action.
That action is a ban on the sale of assault rifles to individuals under the age of 21.
“As a former police officer, I have seen firsthand the damage these weapons can do in the wrong hands. It’s horrifying,” Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz (D-Chicago) said. “We have to do better to prevent this violence, and this is a step in the right direction.”
House Bill 1465 prohibits the sale or transfer of assault weapons and attachments, .50-caliber rifles and large-capacity magazines to individuals under the age of 21.
Munoz said the legislation is spurred by ongoing violence, as well as concerns about the growing prevalence of assault rifle use on the streets of Chicago. In particular, 13 people were shot by assault-style rifles last May in two neighborhoods represented by Munoz.
“If we don’t take action, we will continue to be met with tragedy,” Munoz said. “This measure is one step toward a solution, and it’s a signal that we are finally ready to act.”
The measure was amended to include an affirmative defense for those under 21 who possess an assault weapon or the banned equipment prior to the enactment of the measure. The bill will head back to the House for consideration.