* “I ask my colleagues who are in my party to just be fair and look at this from a broader point of view,” Senate President John Cullerton said yesterday of a proposal to ban gun magazines that can hold over ten rounds. Cullerton made his remarks during a press conference with Gov. Pat Quinn and three Sandy Hook parents…
The grieving mother of a 6-year-old killed in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School joined Illinois Democrats on Sunday in calling for a statewide ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines.
Nicole Hockley choked up when discussing the December massacre in Newtown, Conn., that claimed her son Dylan.
“In Newtown, we learned the brutal truth about the devastation that high-capacity magazines can cause,” said Hockley inside the Thompson Center in downtown Chicago.
Hockley, who was joined by fellow Newtown parents Mark Barden and Francine Wheeler, said the proposed law — Senate Bill 1002 — could save innocent lives.
Adam Lanza, 20, who stormed Sandy Hook and killed 27 people there, including himself, fired 154 bullets in less than five minutes, officials said. He deliberately chose to carry 30-round magazines instead of smaller magazines to kill as many people as possible, Hockley said.
A Senate effort to impose restrictive concealed-carry limits on Illinois gun owners failed to surface for a vote Friday as expected even after the legislation was changed to ease opposition from the National Rifle Association.
“One of the realities that I was keenly aware of when I entered this effort was that there are some extremists,” said Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago), sponsor of the gun-control measure. “There are some extremists with some very loyal followings, and they use intimidation as part of their advocacy efforts. And sometimes that intimidation is quite effective.”
Both Raoul and Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) had hinted at a full floor vote after the bill cleared a Senate panel on a 10-4 vote Thursday, but it became clear a consensus had not been reached by Friday.
The bill was at least partly short of votes due to NRA resistance over the legislation requiring Chicago police Supt. Garry McCarthy to vet all permit-seekers in Chicago and allowing local sheriffs to object to any permit application.
* OK, let’s turn on the Wayback Machine, shall we? Set the coordinates to August 27, 2012. Cullerton was in southern Illinois to stump for Sen. Gary Forby’s campaign. He was talked mainly about overriding Gov. Qunn’s veto of parts of the Department of Corrections operations budget. But Cullerton was also asked about Rep. Brandon Phelps’ concealed carry bill, which was still in the House. Would he call it for a vote?
“I’m not going to use the power of the President of the Senate to block a vote,” Cullerton said, and continued…
“What I’m saying is, if that bill is introduced it will be on the senate floor for a vote. We’ll see what happens. I’m not going to block it. And I have talked to the NRA about this.”
* OK, let’s now reset the coordinates to an earlier southern Illinois appearance by Cullerton. This time, April 11, 2011…
Tuesday in Carbondale, Cullerton indicated that even though he is opposed to “people having loaded weapons on them,” he would consider assigning the bill to another committee.
Noting that concealed carry has not fared well in the Public Health committee, Cullerton said, “If it does pass the House, if we have enough folks that want to have a vote on the Senate floor we can have that vote.”
* I asked Cullerton’s press secretary for a response. Shouldn’t Cullerton now stand aside and allow Forby to call a concealed carry bill that he supports?..
Before the 7th circuit’s decision, this could be framed based on Cullerton’s support or lack thereof for passing a concealed carry bill. For that reason, his promise not to block a vote was relevant. And like his promise on overriding the Governor’s prison cuts, he planned to follow through on that promise.
Not only is he not blocking a vote on concealed carry, he isn’t even in a position to do so given the court’s mandate.
Cullerton did assign gun bills to a different committee for consideration this year. He moved them from public health to judiciary with the goal of reviewing all relevant legislation together and designating a point person to develop a plan for consideration.
He has a preferred plan. The NRA doesn’t love it. And not all of our members are going to love it. But it is a concealed carry bill. And ironically, the NRA is blocking it.
It’s hard not to boil this down to anything but the NRA being riled up that Cullerton didn’t defer to their preferred approach on concealed carry.
* From another top Cullerton aide…
Rich, the promise to call a concealed carry bill became irrelevant when the court said we had to act. The downstaters are going to get concealed carry one way or another. That supercedes the mere promise to call a bill. Its all NRA spin. They don’t like Cullerton or his push to increase his caucus numbers in the suburbs at their expense .
Then he invited them to the governor’s mansion in Springfield, three hours away. On Monday they’ll lobby politicians, including some former colleagues of then-State Senator Barack Obama, on curtailing high capacity ammunition magazines.