ILLINOIS — Early this morning, the Illinois House passed contentious gun legislation that would outlaw assault weapons statewide. However, the bill has not yet become law. The Protect Illinois Communities Act is the name of the bill. The bill’s description states that it is an “assault weapons ban.”

Supporters argue that the bill is a step in the right direction towards making Illinois safer. Opponents argue that the legislation harms legal gun owners.

The bill’s summary states:

“Amends the Criminal Code of 2012. Makes it unlawful to deliver, sell, or purchase or cause to be delivered, sold, or purchased or cause to be possessed by another, an assault weapon, assault weapon attachment, .50 caliber rifle, or .50 caliber cartridge. Makes it unlawful for any person to knowingly possess an assault weapon, .50 caliber rifle, or .50 caliber cartridge 300 days after the effective date of the amendatory Act, except possession of weapons registered with the Illinois State Police in the time provided. Provides exemptions and penalties. Prohibits delivery, sale, purchase or possession of large capacity ammunition feeding devices. Provides exemptions and penalties.”

The vote took place shortly before one o’clock this morning during a Lame Duck session. The bill was approved by a vote of 64 to 43, with one Republican voting in favor. Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, one of the bill’s backers, was present during the debate. Pritzker said he plans to sign the law as soon as possible.

The measure prohibits the production, sale, and ownership of certain types of assault weapons. It prohibits the use of high-capacity ammunition magazines. There are some exceptions to the law, including current military personnel.

Assault weapon owners must register their firearms with the state within 300 days. The legislation was amended before it was passed. Most people under the age of 21 could not obtain a Firearms Owner ID card under the original statute.

With the approval of a parent, the age limit was reduced to 18. The original legislation also prohibited ammunition magazines with more than ten rounds. This restriction was reduced to 12 rounds.

The legislation was spurred by a mass shooting at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park last year, which killed seven people and injured several more.