EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – Assault-style weapons are banned Wednesday morning in Illinois.
The Illinois legislature passed a bill outlawing the high-powered weapons. Governor J.B. Pritzker signed it into law. Illinois becomes the ninth state to pass an assault weapons ban.
Supporters shared that the new law will help make Illinois safer; but opponents are vowing legal challenges calling the measure unconstitutional.
Governor Pritzker signed the bill Tuesday night in Springfield after the Illinois house passed it earlier in the day 68 to 41. The bill initially cleared the house last week, but then the house had to pass it again after the senate approved the legislation with some changes.
The ban took effect immediately, so it is now illegal to sell assault weapons in the Land of Lincoln. The legislation also caps the purchase of ammunition magazines at 10 rounds for long guns and 15 rounds for handguns. Rapid-fire devices, known as “switches,” are also banned because they turn firearms into fully automatic weapons.
Pending assault rifle sales will still be processed, but only if the required background checks have already been started. Those who already own assault weapons can keep them, but they must register the firearms with Illinois state police before the start of next year.
The new law comes after the deadly mass shooting at a fourth of July parade last year in Highland Park, where seven people were killed and many more were hurt.
“I’m signing this legislation tonight so that it can take immediate effect, and we can end the sale of these weapons of war as soon as possible,” Pritzker expressed.
“You also must know that I and millions of other gun owners in this state will not comply,” Senator Darren Bailey said.
The Illinois State Rifle Association is preparing for a legal fight, posting a statement online promising to take the state to court.