Illinois lawmakers abandon attempts to ban assault weapons

January 6, 2013

AP/File
File: Examples of weapons and ammunition displayed at a news conference.

Illinois lawmakers are abandoning efforts to pass gun control legislation in the final days of their session. An assault weapons ban was one of several major issues that brought State House members back to Springfield on Sunday.

Lawmakers are also hoping to address other issues, such as pension reform, forcing companies to disclose what they pay in taxes and allowing those in the country illegally to obtain a driver’s license.

The assault weapons ban legislation was slated to appear Sunday afternoon in front of the House Judiciary Committee. But despite a room packed full of supporters and opponents of gun control legislation, the committee meeting lasted less than two minutes.  

“I don’t think there’s much to take away,” said Rep. Lou Lang, a Democrat who sits on the committee. “The sponsor wasn’t ready to call his bill. The amendment hadn’t been drafted and he wasn’t ready.”

When the brief meeting adjourned, several opponents of gun control stood and applauded.

“We will be back like a bad nightmare,” Nathan Moyer, an opponent of the assault weapons ban from Decatur, Ill., shouted to the room as soon as the meeting ended.

He predicted lawmakers will push gun control legislation again.

“Anytime tyranny is put together by the judicial system that is corrupt, the little man will stand,” Moyer said.

Rep. Elaine Nekritz, who chairs the committee that was scheduled to hear the measure, said afterward that the House didn’t act since the Senate failed to approve an assault weapons ban last week.

She said it’s likely to be addressed in the next legislative session, which starts Wednesday.