As an Illinois bill that would permit statewide concealed carry awaits Gov. Pat Quinn's verdict, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is moving to toughen the city's already-restrictive assault weapons ordinance.
Wednesday, Emanuel is set to introduce two new ordinances aimed at gun laws, one of which would expand the list of assault weapons which would be banned for sale or possession in the city, at Wednesday's City Council meeting, WGN reports.
“Weapons that are designed for the battlefield have no place on the streets of Chicago,” Emanuel said in a press release.
The first ordinance would ban the "import, sale, transfer and possession of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in Chicago," according to the Sun-Times.
The ordinance would also specifically define what is considered an assault weapon to include any semiautomatic rifle or handgun that accommodates a detachable magazine and has at least one military feature, as well as any shotgun with the same capabilities. The city's existing assault weapons ban does not include an actual list of banned weapons or their specific features.
The proposal would not change the penalties for assault weapons offenders, with fines ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 and anywhere from 90 to 180 days in jail.
Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association blasted the mayor's assault weapon ordinance, saying it was simply a distraction from "the failures of the city," the Sun-Times reports.
The second ordinance poised for proposal would stiffen punishments for gun-related offenses in newly designated “student safety zones” including areas near schools, buses and parks as well as the "safe passage" routes for CPS students traveling to their new schools. Offenders in the designated safety zones would face a fine of up to $5,000 and a mandatory 30 days in jail for a first offense, according to the Belleville-News Democrat; third-time offenders could face up to $20,000 and six months jail time.
While Chicago has had an assault weapons ordinance on the books for years, many surrounding municipalities are just now catching up.
In recent days, leaders in nearby villages that include Highland Park, Deerfield, Buffalo Grove, Lake Forest and Waukegan have scrambled to craft some form of law restricting assault weapons, according to the Tribune.