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Illinois Lawmakers Push For Assault Weapons Ban

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The massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., sparked a national debate over gun control. Christian Farr reports for NBC News at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012.

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The calls are loud across Illinois.

In the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, top politicians are coming forward to urge a law that limits guns. Even the governor and mayor of Chicago agree gun control is essential following Friday's massacre.

"It's time we as a country have an assault weapons ban," Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Monday, pushing for the ban signed by President Bill Clinton in 1994, "and I would hope that the leadership in Congress would now have a vote of conscience."

“We do not want disturbed or deranged individuals to have access to deadly weapons,” Gov. Pat Quinn said, pushing for stricter laws and a focus on background checks.

The timing is interesting in Illinois, where lawmakers in Springfield will begin rewriting the concealed carry law next month to allow people to carry guns.
 
“With concealed carry, as its been proved in all 49 other states, everywhere there has been concealed carry, crime has never increased," State Rep. Brandon Phelps said. "It’s always gone down.”
 
Still, lawmakers acknowledge the school shooting will play a role in how Illinois' concealed carry law gets rewritten. Federal law could be changed as well, if some Illinois representatives have their way.

Sen. Dick Durbin brought up the debate Monday on the Senate floor in Washington.

"Magazine clips with more than 10 rounds should be prohibited from civilian use," Durbin said. "No one should be allowed to purchase more than two firearms, maybe only one firearm, a month."

Congressman Bobby Rush expressed frustration Monday because he said he serves in a Congress that "is either gun shy or gun scared."

Rush will be in Washington Tuesday to re-introduce Blair's Bill, legislation he introduced after Blair Holt was killed on a bus in Chicago, that establishes a system to keep unlicensed guns out of people's hands.
 

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