Calls to ban assault weapons and large capacity magazines are gaining momentum. The Illinois House just passed a gun safety bill that proposes these measures, moving us one step closer to making gun safety a reality in our state.

And the public also supports these efforts. In fact, two out of three adults support these restrictions in the United States – a 20% increase from just four years ago – and a majority of voters in illinois do too.

With the Senate now preparing to deliberate on this proposed legislation, Illinois has a clear opportunity to stand up for gun safety and enact a statewide ban on assault weapons and large-capacity magazines. If we do this, we will become the eighth and tenth states respectively in our country to do so. Illinois could and should be next.

Last summer, our entire country was shaken when a gunman used a high-powered weapon to kill seven people and injure dozens more at a 4th of July celebration in Highland Park. and under West Garfield ParkAnother mass shooting occurred later that week, in which four people were shot. Six months later, we have yet to limit access to such weapons of war for other potentially bad actors in Illinois. Since then, senseless killings of people have continued in our state. By the end of 2022, Illinois had experienced nearly 60 mass shootings in total. about 700 murders Happening in Chicago alone.

It is unconscious.

These are the reasons why Gun Violence Prevention PAC started #HaltTheAssault campaign, which calls on our lawmakers to ban military-style weapons. We believe that every Illinoisan has the right to live free from gun violence, and are determined to have Springfield join us in carrying out our efforts.

The question now is: Can our lawmakers finally deliver what Illinois needs?

We believe they can, because they’ve done it before.

earlier this year, Gov. JB Pritzker signed HB 4383 Banning the sale and possession of ghost guns statewide. This law allowed Illinois to become a standard-bearer in the nation in the fight against such unregulated firearms.

Actions like these have set Illinois on the path to making gun safety a reality, and we must continue to do so — even when well-known enemies stand against progress.

For years, the gun lobby has remained an influential bloc in our state’s politics, forcing an agenda of unrestricted and unlimited access to guns in Illinois, while ignoring the toll on the people of our state. As a result, Illinois has 9th highest rate of gun homicides in the country, and firearms are the number one cause of death for our children.

This is not the reality we deserve to live in.

Assault weapons and large-capacity magazines appeal to shooters because of their ability to make massed shots lethal. In shootings where assault weapons or high-capacity magazines are used, 155 percent more people are shot and 47 percent more people die.

Full stop, there is no reason such guns should be sold on the civilian market. Despite this, these weapons remain the primary focus of sales for the gun industry.

We must take a hard look at the current state of Illinois and determine what kind of society we are building for ourselves and our families. If we’re interested in being the kind of state that prioritizes public safety and the well-being of our children, we can’t afford a proliferation of firearms on our streets that have the potential to turn them into war zones at a moment’s notice. Threaten

With the start of a new year, we have an opportunity to work towards real, lasting change. To come together and move forward on the path of gun safety. However, we cannot defer progress to a later date. Time is not on our side. Lives are at stake, and we must ban these dangerous weapons now to ensure that another family or community is not devastated by this preventable tragedy. We must act now.

Kathleen Sanes is the CEO and President of the Gun Violence Prevention PAC (G-PAC).

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