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Simon Urges Communities To Enact Assault Weapons Ban 

WICS Springfield
June 11, 2013

Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon is urging communities to consider banning assault weapons before a concealed carry law hits the books.

Soon, cities will no longer have the option, after the statewide law to allow concealed carry takes effect.

We didn't talk to any communities in our area that are considering a ban.

We didn't find many people in Central Illinois who even wanted to talk about the subject.

Governor Quinn is getting more time to decide whether he'll sign a bill into law to allow people in Illinois to carry concealed guns.

A federal court is giving the state until July 9 to put a law for concealed carry on the books.

State legislators recently approved the details.

The law will leave any existing bans on assault weapons in place, including one in Chicago.

But once it takes effect, it'd bar cities from passing any future bans.

That's why Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon is urging communities to consider crafting rules now.

"My immediate concern is making sure communities can exercise their rights and this doesn't pass them by if it's something they want to do in their communities," Simon said.

Only home-rule communities - or mainly cities with 25,000 people or more - would have the choice to enact a ban on assault weapons.

We called city leaders in Decatur, Danville, Urbana, Champaign and Springfield.

A spokesman for Springfield's mayor says he thinks any ban should be done at the state level.

One alderman agrees.

"If you're going to pass something, it needs to be statewide," said Ward 1 Alderman Frank Edwards.

The mayor of Champaign says he and council members haven't given it thought.

"This is something that came about pretty quickly and we - I have not discussed it with enough members of the council to form a solid opinion on it," Mayor Don Gerard said. "At this time, I feel as though we have a lot of issues we're dealing with locally that would probably take precedent."

City leaders in Decatur and Danville didn't respond to our requests for comment.

Simon says she knows some communities might decide they don't want an assault weapons ban. But, she wants to make sure they're aware of the option.

Communities have up to 10 days after a concealed carry law takes effect to decide whether to establish an assault weapons ban.

The concealed carry bill is on Governor Quinn's desk, awaiting his signature.