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CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson Urges Springfield Lawmakers To Approve Gun Control Measures

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

Several gun-related proposals passed an Illinois House committee hearing Tuesday. 

Gun control supporters in attendance included members of the Chicago Police Department, who stood behind the so-called "Paul Bauer Act" —  drafted in memory of the Chicago police commander killed by a man wearing body armor. The measure would prohibit its use and set a limit on high-capacity ammunition devices.

Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson told lawmakers it’s up to them to prevent similar tragedies going forward.

“We have an obligation to the citizens that we serve to help keep them safe, and it’s just time that we stop talking about this stuff and actually do something about it,” he said. 

Gun-rights advocates spoke against the proposal and four others — including one raising the age to purchase an assault weapon to 21.

Federal Firearms Licensees of Illinois lobbyist Todd Vandermyde said that specific measure “goes far-beyond restriction” — especially for those who use AR-15’s for sport-related activities.

“My 18-year-old son shoots competition with an AR-15. He doesn’t play football, he doesn’t play soccer, he doesn’t play basketball. That’s his sport," he said.

Three other proposals include banning the sale or possession of a bump stock, expanding screening requirements to prevent people with a history of mental illness from purchasing firearms (along with the creation of a Dangerous Person Hotline), as well as establishing a 72-hour wait period on the sale of assault weapons.

The General Assembly could vote on two proposals already pending in the House and Senate as early as Wednesday: one establishes state licenses for gun dealersand the other creates the lethal violence order of protection act, allowing family members to take firearms away if someone is deemed a threat. 

This state gun-safety package comes in response to 17 people killed in a Parkland, Florida high school shooting earlier this month. 

Daisy reports on various assignments for NPR Illinois. She graduated from the Public Affairs Reporting master’s degree program at the University of Illinois Springfield, where she spent time covering the legislative session for NPR Illinois' Illinois Issues. Daisy interned then researched for the Chicago Reporter. She obtained an associate degree in French language from Harry S Truman College and a bachelor's degree in communications from the Illinois Institute of Technology. Before coming to Springfield, Daisy worked in communication roles for several Chicago non-profits. Daisy is from Chicago where she attended Lane Tech High School.
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