* The Cook County Board approved a non-binding referendum on gun control yesterday…
Democratic board members unanimously supported the gun control measure, which asks if the state should “require universal background checks for firearm transfers and prohibit the sale and transfer of assault weapons, assault weapon attachments and high capacity ammunition magazines?”
Gov. Pat Quinn also has called for a similar law, though legislation has failed to move forward in Springfield. The board’s approval of the ballot question comes as Quinn’s campaign has tried to hit Republican rival Bruce Rauner on the issue. Recently, Quinn’s campaign released a new online video juxtaposing TV news reports on Chicago gun violence with footage of Rauner stating he believes gun owners should be free to use assault weapons for “target practice … on their property as they choose fit.”
Board President Toni Preckwinkle said the ballot measure was a continuation of the board’s attempt to reduce gun violence – not part of a coordinated effort.
* But soon after, Quinn’s government office sent out this release…
“This November, voters in Cook County will have an opportunity to raise their voices at the ballot box on two important issues to keep our streets safer.
“The violence epidemic in Chicago has taken far too many lives.
“While many factors contribute to the wars on our streets, there’s no question that there is a crying need for common-sense gun laws that make our communities safer.
“No child in any community should have to fear for their lives when they step outside.
“Military-style assault weapons have no place on our streets. These weapons – which have the capacity to shoot a large volume of ammunition – have no purpose other than killing. By taking these weapons off our streets, we can help lessen the risk for tragic mass shootings that have destroyed innocent lives across our country.
“Additionally, universal background checks for gun sales will help ensure that guns don’t get in the wrong hands.
“I applaud the Cook County Board for adding these important referendums. With proper gun control regulations and investment in mental health care we can help save lives and improve safety within our communities.”
* And early this morning, Quinn’s campaign office sent out a media advisory…
CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn will support the recently approved Cook County referendum questions regarding gun safety and a ban on military-style assault weapons.
WHEN: 10:30 a.m.
WHERE: People’s Church of the Harvest
3570 W. Fifth Avenue
* And Republican board members kept a low profile…
Republicans on the board, including state GOP chairman Com. Tim Schneider, did not oppose the gun control measure. Instead, they requested to be marked as “present” during the vote.
*** UPDATE 1 *** Rauner campaign response…
Pat Quinn’s anti-crime policies have been disastrous for Illinois. He has let numerous violent criminals out of jail early, only to see them commit more crimes. He has turned an anti-violence program into a political slush fund that is now under local and federal investigation. His only answer is a non-binding election year referendum. Pat Quinn is just not serious about dealing with crime in our communities. It’s tragic.
*** UPDATE 2 *** From the Quinn campaign…
Governor Pat Quinn today announced his support for Cook County’s referendum question asking voters this fall whether the state should ban the sale and transfer of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. Governor Quinn also denounced Bruce Rauner’s cowardly silence on the issue of gun violence and his support for military-style assault weapons. Rauner has said that people should be able to use military-style assault weapons “as they choose fit.”
Governor Quinn is pushing legislation to ban semi-automatic, military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.
“There is no place in Illinois for military-style assault weapons,” Governor Quinn said. “These weapons are specifically designed to rapidly fire at human targets and kill, only proliferating the violence epidemic that is plaguing our communities. Bruce Rauner’s strong support for military-style assault weapons is not only out-of-touch, but extremely dangerous to our children, our communities and our policemen who put their life on the line every day to keep us safe.”
Earlier this week, the Quinn for Illinois campaign released a Web video highlighting Rauner’s continued support for the proliferation of semi-automatic, military-style assault weapons in Illinois. The video shows Rauner’s response at a Republican gubernatorial debate earlier this year, where he voiced strong support for assault weapon ownership, and merely shrugged when an incredulous host asked, “When it would make sense to use an assault weapon?”
Watch the video and Rauner’s comments here: http://youtu.be/LwpqXHTHW7U .
Last year, the Governor met with parents who lost children in the Newtown, Conn., tragedy and worked with them to advocate for legislation to ban the sale of high-capacity ammunition magazines in Illinois. The Governor is currently pushing Senate Bill 3659 - the Illinois Public Safety Act - to make Illinois communities safer by banning the delivery or sale of high-capacity ammunition magazines and military-style assault weapons, and requiring background checks for the transfer of guns.