Illinois does not have an assault weapons ban, and the governor believes that’s a deficiency. Gov. Pat Quinn tried to enact a ban using an amendatory veto to a bill regarding mail-order purchases of ammunition, but lawmakers this week overrode the veto. That leaves in place a new law that allows mail-order purchases by FOID card holders from Illinois-based ammunition dealers, and kills the assault weapons ban.
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Lawmakers didn’t like the way the governor hijacked legislation, but Quinn says a ban is still needed. “I do believe that we need to ban assault weapons in Illinois, and I think that’s what the people believe. I was a little disappointed in the Legislature, really both houses, that they didn’t take this issue up as comprehensively as they should,” he said. Quinn says he made the amendatory veto in July, shortly after a gunman using an assault weapon killed 12 people –including one from Illinois – in a movie theater in Colorado, and he felt the need to act quickly.
Quinn says an assault weapons ban is being drafted, and he hopes it’ll pass through the normal legislative process next year. Typically the hard part of writing an assault weapons ban is defining in statute exactly what qualifies a firearm as an assault weapon, without broadly including conventional firearms.