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Pritzker Backs Ban On Large-Capacity Magazines

Brian Mackey
NPR Illinois
Then-candidate and current Gov. J.B. Pritzker campaigns in Springfield in this file photo from 2017.

In the wake of last weekend’s shootings in Texas and Ohio, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is calling for a ban on large-capacity magazines.

Pritzker says regulating guns ought to be done at the federal level. But in the absence of that, he says Illinois should take action on its own.

His first idea? A ban on magazines that hold a lot of ammunition.

“I think all of us have seen that in several of the circumstances, these horrible circumstances, these high capacity magazines were used or were going to be used, either way,” Pritzker says.

Nine other states have similar bans. Under Democratic control, the Illinois General Assembly has tried and failed to ban such magazines in the past, but not this year.

Lawmakers are not scheduled to return to Springfield until the end of October.

Meanwhile, Illinois Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton says President Donald Trump’s rhetoric has no place in America.

Stratton says the president’s language has caused division.

“As a woman of color, I’ve faced racism my entire life. So it’s not that that’s something new,” Stratton says. “But I have not heard this level of boldness coming directly from the White House saying that people who are American do not belong here.”

She was referring to Trump’s recent suggestion that four Congresswomen leave the country. All four are U-S citizens — and women of color.

Pritzker goes even further. He says Trump has "created an atmosphere in this country where people are feeling as if it’s OK — as the president has done — to attack people of color.”

Brian Mackey formerly reported on state government and politics for NPR Illinois and a dozen other public radio stations across the state. Before that, he was A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
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