Clergy from across the Chicago area have the governor’s support as they collect signatures on a petition in favor of stiffer gun control laws. The clergy gathered with Gov. Pat Quinn in his office Tuesday to announce they have collected close to 50,000 signatures in support of a ban on military-style weapons and high-capacity magazines, and support for better background checks for gun purchasers and closing gun show loopholes. They plan to deliver the petition to lawmakers in Springfield on Thursday.
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“We’re looking to lend our voice…down in Springfield this week to continue the fight, to continue the call and the plea for common sense gun legislation,” said the Rev. Sy Fields, pastor at New Landmark Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago. While in Springfield the group will try to talk with lawmakers who may be on the fence or outright opposed to tougher gun laws.
The group of clergy also urged the attorney general to challenge a court ruling that says Illinois must have a concealed carry law on the books by June 8. Quinn also believes the attorney general should bring the issue to the Supreme Court of the United States. “I think that should happen,” Quinn said. “I think it was wrongly decided by the court. It was a split decision…and I think that should be appealed to the United States Supreme Court.”
Attorney General Lisa Madigan has said she is waiting to see what legislation comes out of the General Assembly and has said that it’s unknown what the outcome would be if the high court were to hear the case.