Some suburban and Downstate mayors are joining the mayor of Chicago in calling for a ban on military style weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines. The group of mayors calling for stronger gun regulations is encouraging other mayors to join the Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition. While the Mayors Against Illegal Guns website lists nine mayors from Illinois who have joined the coalition, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he has recruited 22 mayors to join the group.
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He says the dividing line on guns of rural vs. urban is outdated and believes most mayors in Illinois want mandatory criminal background checks on all gun sales, a ban on semi-automatic military style weapons and a ban on large capacity ammunition magazines.
“When you have big city mayors, suburban mayors, small town mayors, Republicans, Democrats, rural, urban, suburban, all coming together, that much diversity on a single issue, is what we mean when we say we need common sense gun legislation because there’s such common ground between all of us, which is a ban on assault weapons, a ban on clips or deal with the restrictions on clips, and also …to make sure we have a background check on all purchases of guns,” Emanuel said.
Teresa Kernc, mayor of Diamond, in Grundy County, says residents of her rural community feel no one needs a large capacity magazine. “In my community there are a lot of hunters, we have a lot of outdoor recreation, so I know they feel very strongly about that, but this is not what we’re talking about here today,” Kernc said. “Assault rifles, the assault magazines, those are simply for slaughter, those aren’t for hunting. I think its comparing apples and oranges.”
The call for a ban on certain weapons capable of accommodating a large capacity magazine has swelled following the tragedy in Connecticut last week. Emanuel and other mayors are calling on the General Assembly to ban semi-automatic military style weapons and large capacity magazines at the state level.
Lawmakers already are under pressure to craft legislation addressing the carrying of a concealed weapon, after a federal appeals court ruled Illinois was in violation of the Second Amendment for not allowing concealed carry.