Illinois passes ban on assault weapons

Dylan Pangrazio, Sports Editor

On January 10, 2023 at about 2:30 pm JB Pritzker passed a bill that had the whole nation’s attention. The Pass of the FOID act in Illinois is both exciting and great for Illinois, which allows citizens of Illinois over 21 years of age, or have the written consent of his or her parent or legal guardian to possess and acquire firearms and ammunition. In the latter case, the person’s parent or legal guardian must also not be prohibited from obtaining a FOID card themselves.

JB Pritzker makes Illinois the ninth state to pass the FOID act and the 7th strongest. House Bill 5471 also caps sales of high-capacity ammunition magazines, bans “switches” that convert legal handguns into assault weapons, and extends the ability of courts to prevent dangerous individuals from possessing a gun through firearm restraining orders. Pritzker stated, “I couldn’t be prouder to say that we got it done. And we will keep fighting — bill by bill, vote by vote, and protest by protest — to ensure that future generations only hear about massacres like  Highland Park, Sandy Hook, and Uvalde in their textbooks.” Students wake up afraid for their lives all the time and it is the biggest change we have to make to this country. 40,620 people die by guns in an average year in America. On average, someone is killed with a gun every six hours in Illinois and at least 1,363 people die from gun violence in Illinois.

We also heard from John Feinblatt who stated, “This lifesaving package will go a long way toward getting assault weapons and high-capacity magazines off the streets, keeping guns away from people in crisis through red flag laws, and holding illegal gun traffickers accountable for taking advantage of weak laws in neighboring states, “Illinois is trying to be one of the first states to take this step forward at making our schools, streets, and citizens safer.” 61% of gun deaths in Illinois are by firearm  homicide. The rate of gun deaths has increased 64% from 2011 to 2020 in Illinois, compared to a 33% increase nationwide. This means that in 2020 there were 631 more gun deaths than in 2011.

Overall, Illinois is putting gun laws in place to revise these statistics and make a safer state for their citizens. Gun violence needs to change and the FOID act will be a stepping stone.