The League of Women Voters of Illinois and the LWV of Evanston applaud Illinois’ new Protect Illinois Communities Act as a positive step on the path to save lives and free all communities from the threat of gun violence.
This long anticipated act, signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Jan. 16, prohibits the sale and manufacture of assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazines in Illinois, and requires Illinois gun owners to register their existing assault-style weapons.
Common sense legislation to reduce access to these weapons is a necessary step in reducing the violence, injury, death and psychological trauma brought upon our communities with these weapons.
It is disappointing that the full implementation and enforcement of the new law has been delayed by lawsuits which have been brought before state and federal courts.
The League looks forward to the resolution of these legal challenges. We support full enforcement of the Protect Illinois Communities Act, which will lead to safer communities throughout Illinois.
League of Women Voters of Evanston
Members of the Executive Committee
Mary Keefe Kelly
I completely agree with Dave Carpenter. Furthermore, why do some people think that by addressing the weapon rather than the hand that uses it to kill will make us “all be safer?” Why instead don’t we try to understand the circumstances, the environment, that drive some to consider killing as an acceptable way to solve personal problems?
I bet most among us don’t know or remember that ETHS once offered “shooting classes” and students used to take their guns to school to use them for target practices. Do we ever ask ourselves why exactly that practice couldn’t be allowed today in our schools? What is it that has changed in our society? Are we ok with the fact that today so many children are fatherless? Are we aware that statistics show that children from fatherless families” are more likely to commit delinquent acts, to struggle in school… That the absence of the father is the single most important cause of poverty?
Changes that scare us are not happening just now: When my kids attended ETHS years back, drugs were being sold right there, in the school. That was several decades ago. Things were happening then and no banning of any weapon did change that kind of societal regression. Why can’t we once and for all consider the possibility that today’s violence has something to do with long coming changes in our society, our families, more that availability of guns, knives or any other easily improvised weapons of violence? The statistics of increase in crime not just in Chicago, but in Evanston, are simply dumfounding. Do we really believe that banning weapons that anyone can buy illegally any time will solve any violence problems? I’m amazed that the League of Women Voters as old an institution as they are, and especially as mothers themselves, seem not to question the very striking societal changes that are driving some among us to kill.
Can someone please explain to me why this law would make anyone safer? The previous rhetoric was that illegal gun possession here was fueled by lax gun purchase laws across the border. The “assault weapons” owners the state expects to register their weapons are not going to constitute the overwhelming majority of those committing felonies with rifles (would you register yours if you were?). In terms of prohibiting the sale and production of such weapons and magazines…Illinois does not have competitive prices anyway. As a person who grew up around gun violence and has been affected by it I see little more in this legislation than a ceremonial “we did it” law. I’m just not sure what we actually “did.” It’s easy to get a gun on the black market in Illinois. Getting one legally is ridiculously arduous and it is part of the fuel for our thriving black market.