State deadline set for City Council to pass assault weapons ban

Ciara McCarthy, Summer Reporter

With the passage of Illinois’ long-awaited concealed-carry bill Tuesday, Evanston aldermen have 10 days to pass a citywide ban on assault weapons.

City Council chose to delay a vote on the assault weapons ban Monday and will wait for their meeting Monday to make a decision.

The state legislation made Illinois the final state to allow permit holders to carry concealed weapons in public. The new law has been the focus of controversy and debate as state politicians worked to meet a court-mandated deadline requiring Illinois to enact a concealed-carry provision by Tuesday.

Although the state’s Firearm Concealed Carry Act restricts the ability of local municipalities to regulate handguns, it does permit local ordinances banning assault weapons, as long as the ordinance is passed by July 18.

After the General Assembly passed the bill at the end of May, Evanston aldermen worked quickly to draft an assault weapons ban. Council tasked the law department with writing the ban June 10, and the ordinance was introduced for discussion just two weeks later.

Gov. Pat Quinn used his amendatory veto powers to send the bill back to state lawmakers last week, suggesting stricter regulations. Both houses of the General Assembly voted to override all of Quinn’s proposed changes in a special session Tuesday.

Quinn accused state legislators of bowing to the gun lobby Tuesday.

“Despite my objections, members of the General Assembly surrendered to the National Rifle Association in the waning days of session and passed a flawed bill that allows people to carry guns in establishments that serve alcohol, and allows people to carry unlimited guns and unlimited high-capacity ammunition magazines,” he said in a news release.

Ciara McCarthy