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Illinois Senate leads on gun safety changes (VIDEO)

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SPRINGFIELD -- Senate Democrats took the lead in advancing comprehensive gun safety legislation Wednesday. Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton issued the following statement.

“This was an important step forward. Yes, there’s more to do. But today we saw lawmakers come together and support commonsense gun laws. It is my hope that this unity can continue and our efforts will make a difference.”

On Wednesday, the Illinois Senate approved three gun safety proposals, all of which Senate President Cullerton supported.

State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) passed HB1467 allowing municipalities to regulate assault weapons and banning the use of bump stocks and trigger cranks.

Currently, the authority to regulate assault weapons rests exclusively with the state, but this legislation returns that power to local governments.

The measure also makes it illegal to sell, manufacture, purchase or possess bump stocks and trigger cranks.

“Students around the country walked out today to remember the victims of the shooting in Parkland, Florida, and urge lawmakers to take action,” Raoul said. “I was proud to join my colleagues in a bipartisan show of support for them. But we are in a unique situation. We can do more than host a symbolic demonstration. We can take action, and I am proud that we did today.”

State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield)'s HB1468 would increase the waiting period to purchase an assault weapon in Illinois from 24 to 72 hours.

“Increasing the waiting period to obtain an assault weapon ensures sufficient time to complete a background check and increases the ‘cooling off’ period for those who may cause harm to others,” said Morrison. “Requiring a 72-hour waiting period is a commonsense reform that will help keep our neighborhoods safe.”

Senator Tony Munoz's House Bill 1465 prohibits the sale or transfer of assault weapons and attachments, .50-caliber rifles and large-capacity magazines to individuals under the age of 21.

Munoz said the legislation is spurred by ongoing violence, as well as concerns about the growing prevalence of assault rifle use on the streets of Chicago. In particular, 13 people were shot by assault-style rifles last May in two neighborhoods represented by Munoz.

“If we don’t take action, we will continue to be met with tragedy,” Munoz said. “This measure is one step toward a solution, and it’s a signal that we are finally ready to act.”

Here’s a summary of the three measures acted on today and their status:

House Bill 1465 - Prohibits the sale or transfer of an assault weapon, .50 caliber rifle or large capacity magazine to an individual under the age of 21.

Status: Senate approved 33-22. Returns to Illinois House for final action on changes.

House Bill 1467 - Ban on bump stocks and trigger cranks. Also restores local governments’ ability to enact local regulations and restrictions regarding assault weapons.

Status: Senate approved 37-16. Returns to Illinois House for final action on changes.

House Bill 1468 - Increases the waiting period to receive an assault weapon after purchase to 72 hours from 24 hours. (Note: This mirrors the existing waiting period for handguns)

Status: Senate approved 43-15, clears the way for it to go to the governor.