A panel of Illinois State Senators is scheduled to hear from some parents whose children died in December’s mass shooting in Newtown, CT. The parents are asking lawmakers to approve a bill banning gun ammunition magazines from holding more than 10 rounds.
The parents spoke emotionally with reporters in Chicago on Sunday. Nicole Hockley lost her son Dylan, 6, in the shooting.
“If the shooter’s magazines had held 10 rounds instead of 30, forcing him to reload many more times, what additional opportunities would have been available for someone to disarm him, as we’ve seen in other tragedies?” Hockley asked.
The legislation would allow prosecutors to charge with a felony anyone making, selling or possessing magazines with more than 10 rounds. Those found with a magazine containing more than 17 rounds would face even harsher prosecution.
Meantime, Senate President John Cullerton, a Chicago Democrat, acknowledged the struggles his chamber has seen this legislative session agreeing on gun-related laws. A vote on proposed concealed carry legislation had been postponed because of a lack of agreement. Cullerton said Sunday a vote on limiting the size of magazines, like concealed carry, could come down to one or two state senators.
“I want to see these three parents come down to Springfield, Illinois and I want them to make some of the senators very uncomfortable,” Cullerton said.
In January, Illinois state lawmakers tried to pass legislation limiting the size of gun magazines, but it failed to pass the full legislature. It was one of the first attempts to pass gun control legislation in the country after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Gov. Pat Quinn has supported calls to limit the size of magazines along with banning so-called assault weapons. On Sunday, Quinn said he’d be focusing on the magazines aspect of gun control legislation this week.
The House of Representatives also has yet to approve concealed carry legislation, something a federal court mandated lawmakers approve before June 9.
Tony Arnold covers state politics for WBEZ. Follow him @tonyjarnold.