Illinois Senate expected to vote on assault weapons ban


CHICAGO — The Illinois Senate is set to return to Springfield on Sunday in the final days of a lame-duck session to vote on an assault weapons ban that was passed by the House.

Sunday’s expected vote is happening two days after the House passed the Protect Illinois Communities Act.

Its supporters are hoping for passage before Gov. JB Pritzker’s inauguration on Monday or before the new general assembly is sworn in.

In a statement ahead of the session, a spokesman for Senate President Don Harmon called the ban a critically important issue.

He said senators are giving it an extensive review and careful evaluation.

In a rare occurrence, the governor was on the House floor to watch the debate and vote, which happened early Friday morning. The bill passed six months after the Highland Park massacre on the Fourth of July.

Only one Republican voted yes on the bill: Outgoing Minority Leader Jim Durkin.

Protect Illinois Communities would ban the manufacture, sale and possession of assault weapons for most Illinoisians.

It would make magazines that hold more than 12 rounds and rapid-fire devices illegal.

Current owners of assault weapons would have 300 days to register it with the state.

The age to obtain a FOID card would remain 18 with parental consent.

The bill’s original version would’ve raised the age to 21.

Police said the Highland Park shooter legally purchased assault weapons, including the one used to kill seven people during the Fourth of July parade.

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