Illinois Governor Pat Quinn announced on Sunday that he will be supporting the Illinois Public Safety Act, a bill that calls for stronger gun control laws in a state already known for being tough on firearms. If passed into law, the Illinois Public Safety Act—Senate Bill 3659—will ban the possession, sale, purchase, and transport of firearms the state considers to be “assault weapons.” The bill will also outlaw any magazine capable of holding more than 15 rounds and all .50-caliber rifles and cartridges in the state. Those who currently possess these items could keep them, but would not be able to transfer them to anyone other than a family member.
Governor Quinn’s vocal show of support came after a spree of shootings in Chicago over the July 4 weekend. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, 13 people were killed and at least 58 wounded in a surge of violence after the national holiday. Quinn himself visited the site of a shooting where a 44-year-old mother was killed and stood alongside surviving family members during the press conference on Sunday.
“The recent epidemic of violence in Chicago is unacceptable and we must join together to fight back,” Quinn said. “Public safety is government’s foremost mission and Illinois should not wait any longer to act. There are too many victims of a war being waged on our streets, a war fueled in part by the availability of deadly, military-style assault weapons that have no purpose other than killing.
“We must work together to protect the lives of those we love and stop what’s happening in our communities. I urge the Illinois General Assembly to take a stand and pass this legislation that will save lives and protect communities.”
Firearm-ownership advocacy groups widely criticize the Illinois Public Safety Act. The NRA previously called the bill a unconstitutional “wish list” for gun control supporters in Illinois.
“This legislation is a comprehensive anti-gun package which echoes the unconstitutional legislation passed in New York and Connecticut last year,” reads a statement on the NRA Institute for Legislative Action’s website. “The laws passed in those states are currently subject to lawsuits due to their significant infringement on Second Amendment rights.”
You can watch a video of Quinn’s press conference below: