CHICAGO — Illinois Governor Pat Quinn on Tuesday proposed a state ban on assault weapons in the aftermath of the July 20 movie theater massacre in Colorado in which a former graduate student is charged with killing 12 people with guns including a semi-automatic rifle.
Quinn, a Democrat, called himself a “strong supporter” of the constitutional right to bear arms, but said in a letter to state legislators that the proliferation of military-style assault weapons undermines public safety.
“There is no place in the state of Illinois for weapons designed to rapidly fire at human targets at close range,” said Quinn, who also proposed a ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn’s proposal comes at a time when the homicide rate in Chicago has drawn national attention because of a 31 percent increase through July 20 compared with last year.
Illinois, the only state without a law permitting people to carry concealed weapons, has Democratic majorities in the legislature. But Quinn’s assault weapons ban proposal likely would face obstacles from legislators outside of Chicago.