CHICAGO
03/06/2013 04:52 pm ET

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

John Jackson, co-owner of Capitol City Arms Supply shows off an AR-15 assault rifle for sale Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013 at his
John Jackson, co-owner of Capitol City Arms Supply shows off an AR-15 assault rifle for sale Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013 at his business in Springfield, Ill. President Barack Obama launched the most sweeping effort to curb U.S. gun violence in nearly two decades, announcing a $500 million package that sets up a fight with Congress over bans on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines just a month after a shooting in Connecticut killed 20 school children. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

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.

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."

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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