By Illinois Review
Powered by massive victories during the November midterm election that solidified the Democrats supermajority control in the Illinois House and Senate chambers, the Democrat-controlled House passed amended legislation to ban assault weapons by a vote of 64-43 during a late-night session.
Democrats celebrated the passage of the legislation, including Gov. JB Pritzker, who was in attendance, while Republicans referred to the bill as “unconstitutional.”
House GOP Minority Leader Jim Durkin was the only Republican to join the Democrats, voting in favor of the assault weapons ban.
The Illinois Freedom Caucus sent a late night email urging conservatives to call Democrats and urge them to vote “No,” arguing that the Democrats admitted in committee that they did not consult with gun groups while drafting the legislation – including the Illinois State Rifle Association, who plans on filing a lawsuit when the bill becomes law.
The legislation “immediately prohibits the manufacturing, possession, delivery, sales, and purchase of assault weapons” with a few exceptions – if you are a police officer or you are in the military.
Durkin remains a close ally and best friend of IL GOP chairman Don Tracy. During the primary, Durkin was a supporter of Richard Irvin’s Republican campaign for governor, despite Irvin pulling Democratic Primary ballots in 2014, 2016 and 2020.
In 2002, Don Tracy ran in the Illinois primary for the 50th State Senate District as a Democrat. And in 2020, just months before his election as chairman of the Republican Party of Illinois, Tracy made a personal donation to Citizens for Judge Emily Sutton – a Democrat running for Circuit Court Judge in the 9th Judicial Circuit.
The legislation is now headed to the Democrat-controlled Senate where it is expected to easily pass before Gov. Pritzker signs it.