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Illinois Becomes the Latest State to Ban Sporting Rifles

AP Photo/Andrew Selsky, File

On Tuesday, Illinois became the latest state to ban the sale and possession of semi-automatic sporting rifles

Democrat Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the legislation, the “Protect Illinois Communities Act,” after it passed both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly. The law bans semi-automatic sporting rifles, as well as "high-capacity" magazines and “rapid-firing” devices.


“[For] too long people have lived in fear of being gunned down in schools, while worshipping, at celebrations or in their own front yards. This legislation will stop the spread of assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, and switches and make our state a safer place for all,” Prizker said in a statement.

According to ABC, the law came six months after a gunman with a semi automatic rifle shot and killed seven people during a Fourth of July parade in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park. 

"No Illinoisan, no matter their zip code, should have to go through life fearing their loved one could be the next in an ever-growing list of victims of mass shootings," the governor said in his statement. The ban reportedly impacts 2.5 million legal gun owners in the state.

The House voted 68-41 to approve the ban on Tuesday afternoon. On Monday, the bill had passed the state Senate 34-20. The law came into effect immediately when Pritzker signed it. 

"For the past four years, my administration and my colleagues in the State Capitol have been battling the powerful forces of the NRA to enshrine the strongest and most effective gun violence legislation that we possibly can," Pritzker said after signing the legislation. "I couldn't be prouder to say that we got it done. And we will keep fighting — bill by bill, vote by vote, and protest by protest — to ensure that future generations only hear about massacres like Highland Park, Sandy Hook, and Uvalde in their textbooks."


Late last year, the state’s Safety, Accountability, Fairness, and Equity-Today (Safe-T) Act was scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1. The law would eliminate cash bail nearly entirely in the state. On Dec. 31, CBS reported that the Illinois Supreme Court put the act on hold hours before it was supposed to go into effect. 

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