SPRINGFIELD, Illinois - March 1 - A bill that would ban military-style semiautomatic weapons in Illinois, HB 2414, awaits action in the Illinois Legislature. Law enforcement leaders, crime victims, and the Governor are calling for its passage. Today, the gun lobby said it would be economically costly.
"The gun lobby's leaders said today in Springfield that banning assault weapons would injure Illinois economically to the tune of $150 million and cost the state 750 jobs," said Jennifer Bishop, Illinois State director of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. "Are Illinois residents really buying $150 million a year worth of assault weapons? If so, I urge the Legislature to move as quickly as possible on this proposal, because we have a bigger problem than we realized."
"If these guys are going to say that this assault weapons ban will cause a loss of a few hundred jobs, how can you compare that to the more than a thousand lives that are lost in our state each year to gun violence, and many more nationally?," asked Northwestern University Political Science Professor Steve Young, the father of a gun violence victim. "The gun industry is the most secretive of all industries. If they are claiming hundreds of millions of dollars in lost profits, and many jobs lost, then let them open their books and prove this."