Senate panel approves bans on assault weapons, high-capacity ammunition magazines
SPRINGFIELD-Driven by the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, gun-control legislation designed to ban assault weapons and the ammunition that feeds them passed a Senate panel late Wednesday, setting the stage for likely floor votes on Thursday.
The Democratic measures advanced out of the Senate Public Health Committee, which historically has been dominated by gun-control advocates, on party-line votes.
“The goal is to reduce the amount of incidents that occur where there are a significant amount of people shot in a short period of time,” said Sen. Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge), the chief Senate sponsor of legislation banning the sale and possession of high-capacity ammunition magazines that allow shooters to fire at high speeds without reloading.
His proposal, which passed by a 6-3 vote, accompanied a measure sponsored by Sen. Antonio Munoz (D-Chicago) that would impose similar restrictions on military-style weapons, like the ones used in last month’s murders of 26 people in Connecticut, 20 of whom were children.
Both measures were fought by the National Rifle Association.
“You don’t hunt with a 50-caliber weapon, my friend,” Munoz derisively told NRA lobbyist Todd Vandermyde before the panel voted for the weapons ban by a 6-4 vote.