Illinois Fines Violators Up to $1,000 per Day for Possessing Assault Weapons!
The deadly mass shooting in Parkland, Florida spurred on a massive and heated debate about gun control laws all across the country. The Parkland students marched down to Washington D.C. last March 28, 2018, to urge the government to toughen their regulations on firearms and autonomous weapons. While the Federal level remains divided between pro and anti-gun control laws, the state of Illinois took an initiative to ban autonomous weapons.
Assault Weapons Ban
Last Monday, the Chicago suburb of Deerfield, Illinois, voted to ban the manufacturing, possession, and sale of autonomous weapons and large-capacity magazines in order to increase the public’s sense of safety. Anyone who refused to give up their banned weapons will face an astounding $1,000 fine per day until the gun owner hands in his or her weapons or is removed from the town’s limits. The ordinance states that the production of deadly weapons isn’t reasonably necessary to protect an individual’s right of self-defense. The types of assault weapons banned in the new order include:
- Semi-automatic rifles with a fixed magazine that holds more than 10 rounds of ammo
- Shotguns with revolving cylinders
- conversation kits
The order also bans the following models or gun duplicates namely: AK, AK-47, AK-74, AKM, AKS, ARM, AR-10, AR-15, AR70, FN/LAR, FNC, HK-91, MAK90, Misr, NHM 90, NHM 91, SA 85, SA 93, SAR-8, VEPR, Armalite M15, Bushmaster XM15, Calico Liberty, Dragunov SVD Sniper Rifle, Dragunov SVU, Olympic Arms PCR, Fabrique Nationale FN/FAL, Hi-Point Carbine, Kel-Tec Sub Rifle, Sturm, Ruger Mini-14, among others.
However, the order exempts the following weapons from the ban:
- Antique handguns which are deemed permanently inoperable
- Guns designed for Olympic target shooting
- Guns from retired police officers.
Hope for a Peaceful America
Despite the heated arguments between two opposing sides, the Deerfield Mayor Harriet Rosenthal hopes that their initiative will drive the national leader to make the nation’s streets and communities safer.
The government should do its part in maintaining peace and order, and stop the chain of terror attacks plaguing the country. Aside from Deerfield, one of the nearby suburbs Highland Park, passed a similar ordinance last 2013. Nevertheless, some residents questioned the said action and deem it as unconstitutional by the Illinois State Rifle Association.
While the NGO’s lauded Illinois’ move to ban assault weapons, some gun rights groups lambasted the federal government for passing the ordinance. The Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA) and the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) filed a joint petition lawsuit against the Deerfield village for passing an “unconstitutional” order. They stated that banning the production of assault weapons violates the Second Amendment of the US Constitution that entitled an individual to own and possess firearms privately.
They said the ordinance is unfair to law-abiding Illinois citizens who wield their firearms responsibly. Both ISRA and SAF have around 650,000 members and supporters. The ISRA has been conducting programs for lawful, safe, and responsible firearm ownership. The SAF, meanwhile, has been actively campaigning against the dire consequences of gun control.
Responsible Gun Ownership
Moreover, ISRA Executive Director Richard Pearson clarified that while they are the ones seeking an immediate solution to solve criminal violence, they believe that gun control isn’t the way to stop indiscriminate killings. Guns are just inanimate objects, so people shouldn’t put the blame on it. If anything, the gun owner is the one responsible for gun violence.
If the person isn’t psychologically or emotionally fit to possess a gun responsibly, then it can endanger their neighborhood or community. Instead of pushing the gun control, Pearson endorsed the toughening of regulations on gun possession. An applicant should undergo a rigorous process that includes a series of examinations to ensure that he or she is properly qualified to possess and use a gun responsibly.
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