A bill sponsored by state Sen. Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) that would restrict the use of assault weapons is problematic, not only for being vague, but for abridging gun owners’ rights, according to gun lobbyist Todd Vandermyde.
“The Second Amendment protects modern firearms just as the First protects the internet, TV and radio,” he said during an interview with the Prairie State Wire.“Semi-auto firearms have been around for over a century. Semi-automatic firearms are easier for women to shoot and control, and are the overwhelming favorite of shooters. There is no logical reason to ban them.”
Up for re-election this fall, Morrison co-sponsored several anti-gun bills, including HB 1467, which would allow local governments to apply tighter regulations to assault weapons than the state, including banning them. Although Morrison has had a strong gun-control record, she became a vocal supporter of the bill after February’s deadly shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Ballotpedia.org reported that the National Rifle Association gave Morrison a grade of F for her pro-gun-control stance.
“Do we have to wait until a Parkland happens in Illinois for us to take action or for us to take ownership of it,” Morrison said in a quote on Illinois.com. “There is no reason for anyone to have an assault weapon. There just isn’t. It’s a military-grade gun. It is not used for protection. It is not used for hunting.”
But Vandermyde took issue with Morrison’s characterization of assault weapons.
“Anti-gun people continue to demonize modern sporting rifles with terms (and) rhetoric because they can’t have an honest debate about the issue,” he said. “It bothers them that so many people choose to own these average semi-automatic rifles.”