On Thursday, Illinois lawmakers heard arguments over whether to ban future sales of so-called “assault weapons.”
Chicago and Downstate legislators remain split on the issue, and as Chris Slaby reports, police officials are split too.
Greg Sullivan is the executive director of the Illinois Sheriffs’ Association.
He said lawmakers’ efforts to stop assault-weapon sales in Illinois should instead be directed at what he calls “the roots of the problem.”
SULLIVAN: “Criminals will always have weapons and the mentally ill will never get the services they need under the current system.”
Chicago law enforcement officials, on the other hand, believe restrictions are needed.
The city’s police department says nearly 300 illegally-owned assault weapons were taken off Chicago streets last year.
Deputy Superintendent Alfonza Wysinger said that’s almost a gun a day.
WYSINGER: “Gun legislation cannot come soon enough for our Chicago police officers.”
The proposed ban would allow those who already have assault weapons to keep them.
Supporters of the ban also say only police should be able to use magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, while opponents say that right should extend to everyone.