03/06/2013 04:52 pm ET

Illinois Semi-Auto Ban: State House OKs Amendments That Would Ban Certain Assault Weapons

As Illinois lawmakers hash out details to the forthcoming law complying with a federal court ruling to allow concealed carry, the state House of Representatives approved measures Tuesday that would still keep semi-automatic firearms forbidden.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports the amendments approved during Tuesday's vote would ban popular rifles like the AR-15 and the AK-47, as well as "certain weapon attachments and large-capacity ammunition magazines."

Democratic Rep. Brandon Phelps from downstate Harrisburg argued against the measures saying, “More than anything, we’re really going after the law-abiding gun owner and going after the sportsman," according to the Sun-Times.

One of the amendment's co-sponsors, Chicago Democratic Rep. Edward Acevedo, dismissed such weapons as unnecessary for civilians and solely designed for "mass destruction."

"These weapons are not for hunting ... They're designed to kill a group of people at one time," Acevedo said Tuesday, per the State Journal-Register.

House Republicans refused to vote, so the amendments passed with Democratic votes only, reports the Associated Press. House Democrats are still shy of the votes it needs to pass a full piece of legislation on to the Senate, reports the Journal-Register.

In February, state GOP leaders were angered by powerful Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan's move to force lawmakers into open debates on contentious gun control issues and blasted the process as a "political stunt."

The battle over state gun laws remains heated as pro-gun control lawmakers from Chicago and the surrounding metro area spar with gun rights representatives downstate. Recently, GOP Rep. Jim Sacia exploded in a rant on the House floor comparing the issue of gun control to castration.



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