maria pike and cpzSPRINGFIELD – A longtime advocate for safer communities and more transparent gun laws, State Senator Cristina H. Pacione-Zayas is proud to vote in favor of a ban on assault weapons in the State of Illinois.

“We have seen time and time again people using military-grade weapons not for sport or leisure, but to intentionally cause mass violence and take human lives,” Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago) said. “We say it every year, but how are we among the most affluent countries and yet always dramatically outpacing other countries in mass gun violence? Enough is enough. Banning assault weapons is a long time coming.”

If signed by the governor, House Bill 5471 would ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines from being manufactured or sold in Illinois.

Studies show that approximately one-third of public mass shooting events include the use of an assault weapon, and nearly 40% involve a high-capacity magazine. Between 2009 and 2020, the five deadliest mass shootings in the US involved the use of assault weapons and/or high-capacity magazines: Las Vegas, Orlando, Sandy Hook, Sutherland Springs, and El Paso. When an assault weapon and/or a high-capacity magazine is used in a public mass shooting, nearly 14 times as many people are injured, and twice as many people are killed. Not only are there far more injuries when assault weapons are used, but the types of injuries are far worse.

The 4th of July shooting punctuated a six-week period in which mass shooters using semi-automatic weapons killed more than 40 people in Buffalo, New York; Uvalde, Texas; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Highland Park combined. 

“The political discussions are fraught, but the data is clear. This legislation presents concrete steps forward in a continuing fight. This legislation is not radical. The status quo is unacceptable. Our laissez-faire approach to weapons of war in our streets is unconscionable.

“Gun violence is an epidemic in our country—but we have the power to fight it through this legislation combined with addressing root causes,” Pacione-Zayas said. “I am grateful to my colleagues for collective work on this vital legislation, which will contribute to fight for no more lives to be lost in mass shootings.”

House Bill 5471 passed the Senate on January 9, 2023. It now goes to the House for further consideration. 

 Image: Sen. Pacione-Zayas with Maria Pike, who she has worked with on violence prevention in Latine communities in Chicago.

Category: Press Releases

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