New bills in the Illinois House and Senate could ban the sale assault rifles, require gun store licensing

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)

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The debate over gun control and regulations has been the topic on everyone’s minds since the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and the activist role students have found themselves in.

That conversation has made its way to the Illinois legislature, with one bill introduced in the House and another to be introduced in the Senate.

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The Senate bill would make it illegal to sell semi-automatic weapons in Illinois. That includes weapons like the AR-15 that was used in Parkland and various other mass shootings across the country.

“These types of instruments should not be on the markets,” said Senator Ira Silverstein, D—Chicago. Silverstein was the one who filed the bill.

“I don’t see the need why someone has to have an AR-15,” Silverstein said. “We’re not at war, people can protect [themselves] using smaller guns. We have concealed carry.”

The house bill would ban guns that don’t have a serial number, also known as “ghost guns.”

“Without a serial number, it’s untraceable,” said State Representative Marty Moylan, D—Des Plaines, who introduced the bill. “So, convicted felons, who aren’t supposed to have a gun or other individuals who are able to use the gun in crimes, are able to order one over the Internet.”

Another bill is pushing for requiring state licenses for stores that sell firearms. Under that proposal, “anyone who sells, leases or transfers firearms would have to be licensed by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation,” according to the Chicago Tribune.

Last fall, the state Congress failed to pass a bill that would ban bump-stocks, the device used to turn semi-automatic weapons into automatic, and was used by the shooter in the Las Vegas massacre.

“I don’t know if anyone in this legislature had heard about bump stocks until Las Vegas, and I don’t think bump stocks were the root of that problem,” said Sen. Don Harmon, D-Oak Park. Sen. Harmon introduced the licensing bill.

“I would certainly vote to prohibit them, but it’s a superficial response to a very particular episode and we all too often fight the last war instead of trying to solve the real, underlying problem,” he added.

Chicago and Illinois have a perception of being strict on gun laws, but that isn’t necessarily the case. A previous handgun ban was overturned in 2010 and a concealed carry law was passed in 2013.

Likewise, gun owners are not required to register their weapon with the city nor obtain a permit.

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But even if Chicago and Illinois were more strict on gun laws, that may not necessarily influence anything. Illegal guns from neighboring states like Indiana and Iowa with more lax gun laws continue to make their way to crimes in Illinois

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