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Opponents of proposed Illinois gun ban testify, more hearings expected

Opponents of a proposal to ban certain semi-automatic firearms and magazines in Illinois offered their opinions of the legislation during a House hearing Thursday.

Just as at the first hearing on Monday for House Bill 5855, the second hearing also featured advocates pushing for a gun ban.

While supporting the measure, Joseph Saunders with Brave Youth Group said at the crux of the issue is the hearts of bad actors.

“They gonna go with bats, they’re gonna go with knives, anything that they can pick up, screwdrivers, like they do in the penitentiary,” Saunders said. “I’m talking about a heart and a mind change.”

He pushed for more resources to interdict violence.

Marsha Lee with Everytown Survivor applauded the efforts to ban certain types of guns and magazines. She said gun violence is out of control.

“To the others who don’t support this, don’t look away, don’t turn a deaf ear,” Lee said. “We have to do something. We don’t have to live like this and we have to make changes.”

The measure would ban future sales of about 100 semi-automatic pistols, shotguns and rifles and make it a violation to possess magazines that have more than 10 rounds. There would also be a prohibition of anyone under 21 from getting a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card unless they’re in the military, and it would expand a firearms restraining order from six months to a year.

Alongside other opponents speaking as individuals, Andrew Guadarrama laid out recent U.S. Supreme Court precedent that he said would block any kind of widespread gun and magazine ban.

“Most handguns are 10-plus [bullets in a magazine],” Guadarrama told the committee. “This severely restricts access to firearms, which has already been ruled unconstitutional.”

Various gun-owner rights groups have said they are not negotiating on the bill and are preparing legal action if it’s passed and enacted.

Opposing the bill, Chicago native Nico Noisette spoke as an individual and said it’s inner city people of color who are more at risk of being victims of violence.

“I am a target. I am more likely than you, you and you of being a target, and I have to pay a tax because I believe my life has value,” Noisette said.

Others opposed the idea of penalty enhancements for possession of certain guns and magazines they say would disproportionately impact minority communities that are looking for ways to protect themselves from crime.

A third hearing is set for Tuesday. As with the other two hearings, witness slips opposed to the bill are far outpacing support.

This article originally appeared on The Center Square.

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