Legislation that would have limited military-style assault weapons in Illinois was pulled from consideration Sunday after its sponsors admitted that the votes were not there to pass the contentious proposal.
The proposed assault weapons ban had been slated for a Sunday hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, but the meeting ultimately lasted just two minutes and the bill was not called for a vote, according to WBEZ.
State Rep. Elaine Nekritz, a Northbrook Democrat, explained that although a state Senate committee had advanced the proposal last week, the votes were likely not there to pass it before the legislature's lame-duck session expires on Tuesday, the State Journal-Register reports.
"...The House feels that if the votes aren't there to pass something between now and late Tuesday in one of the chambers, then there’s no reason for us to act on that as well," Nekritz told the paper.
Gun rights advocates were enthused by the proposed ban's failure to launch.
State Rep. Brandon Phelps, a Harrisburg Democrat, called the bill "too broad" as it applied to too many different types of guns, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Meanwhile, Nathan Moyer, another vocal opponent of the assault weapons ban, said he expected that lawmakers will introduce the proposal again in the upcoming session and that he and other gun rights supporters would be back to oppose such an effort. Moyer is a member of a group called the Midwest Patriot Militia, according to a WAND TV video shared by the Capitol Fax blog.
"Anytime tyranny is put together by the judicial system that is corrupt, the little man will stand," Moyer told WBEZ.
The proposed legislation would have banned specific semiautomatic guns "designed for war" such as the Colt AR-15, the Intratec Tec-9 and the Beretta AR-70. Another bill would have banned the high-capacity ammunition magazines such weapons utilize. Both measures were advanced by the state Senate's Public Health Committee in party-line votes, with Democrats in support and Republicans opposed, last Wednesday.
Last fall, the Illinois state Senate walloped similar legislation pushed by Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn in the wake of the Aurora, Colo. movie theater shooting in a 49-4 vote. California, Connecticut and New York are among the states to have assault weapons bans like Quinn's proposal.
Following the elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn., last month, both Quinn and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel expressed their support for an assault weapons ban in Illinois.
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