After Florida massacre, Madigan has gun bills in his sights

SHARE After Florida massacre, Madigan has gun bills in his sights

House Speaker Michael Madigan speaks at a news conference in Springfield in August. (AP File Photo/ John O’Connor)

State House Speaker Mike Madigan plans to advance a package of gun control legislation next week, including stricter regulation of gun dealers and restrictions on the purchase of military-style assault rifles — the speaker announced Friday after a dizzying week of fallout over his handling of sexual harassment within his political organization.

Legislators are pushing for gun legislation following the shooting in Parkland, Fla., in which 17 people were killed when a man with an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle opened fire.

State lawmakers tried unsuccessfully to pass a bill banning “bump stocks” in October following the Las Vegas massacre. But there’s now another push for gun control legislation under way, despite some opposition from gun rights advocates.

The speaker plans to call for a House vote on a gun dealer bill that would hold dealers to the same standard as many other licensed professions to ensure they’re complying with state and federal laws. Madigan also plans to call for a vote on legislation that would allow family members and law enforcement to ask a court to temporarily intervene and prevent those who are a threat to themselves from possessing firearms.

Other bills that will be called next week would prevent people under 21 from purchasing military-style assault rifles and prevent people with a history of mental illness from buying firearms.

“Young people and families whose lives have been forever changed by tragic school shootings went to their state capital and to Washington this week to demand their local legislators and President Trump get serous about enacting tougher gun laws,” Madigan said in a statement. “Their voices need to be heard because it’s now clear than ever that while it’s the politicians who are refusing to act, it’s our children who suffer the consequences.”

An Illinois Senate committee this week advanced two gun measures — one requiring that anyone wanting to buy prepackaged explosives have a FOID card. The other is one Madigan plans to call in the House that would allow family members or law enforcement to take away guns or FOID card from relatives if they pose an immediate threat to themselves or others.

Legislators are scheduled to return to Springfield on Tuesday.

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