Illinois governor signs sweeping ban on firearms into law

Governor Pritzker signed the 'Protect Illinois Communities Act' into law during a ceremony at the State Capitol in Springfield, hours after the House Democrats passed it, which happened less than a day after the Senate Democrats had approved the measure.

Illinois governor signs sweeping ban on firearms into law
AP Photo/Matt Marton
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On Tuesday, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, signed legislation prohibiting the production or possession of various types of rapid-fire rifles, pistols, .50-caliber firearms, and certain attachments. The legislation went into effect immediately after being signed.

Governor Pritzker signed the "Protect Illinois Communities Act" into law during a ceremony at the State Capitol in Springfield, hours after the House Democrats passed it, which happened less than a day after the Senate Democrats had approved the measure.

“It’s been quite a past 24 hours,” Pritzker said, as reported by local media. “Yesterday, I began my second term as governor of the great state of Illinois, and today we made history, becoming the ninth state to institute an assault weapons ban and one of the strongest assault weapons bans in the nation.”

According to the bill, citizens who already own said firearms must register them with the state.

Under the new law, manufacturers of firearms will only be able to sell their products to suppliers in other states. Owners of the newly banned firearms in the state are still allowed to keep them on their private property.

The new law in Illinois stipulates that residents found in possession of unregistered firearms listed in the law could be charged with a misdemeanor for the first offense and a felony for any subsequent offenses.

During the signing ceremony, Governor Pritzker recited the names of the seven victims who were killed in a mass shooting at the Highland Park July 4 parade. The shooter used a Smith & Wesson M&P15 semi-automatic rifle in the attack.

The legislation was met with opposition from many Republican lawmakers, who argued that it would not have any impact on reducing crime and goes against decisions made by the U.S. Supreme Court regarding Second Amendment rights.

State Representative Blaine Wilhour of Beecher City, a member of the Republican House Freedom Caucus, criticized Governor Pritzker and other Democrats for continuing to “allow our Constitution and our freedoms to be shredded.”

“A government unchecked, a government willing to defy our Constitution is a government that is completely out of control,” Wilhour said, according to The Chicago Tribune. “You can sit here and dictate whatever you want today. Maybe the political winds are in your favor here today. But I can tell you that we will not comply and you’re not going to do a darn thing about it because the law, the Constitution and the founding principles are on our side.”

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