Rockford Mayor Ditches Anti-Gun Group - NBC Chicago
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Rockford Mayor Ditches Anti-Gun Group



    Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey has cut his ties to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns, saying the group has become too focused on banning assault weapons, rather than keeping guns out of the hands of criminals.

    Morrissey made his announcement at a Rockford Tea Party meeting, where it was, as you might expect, greeted with a huge round of applause.

    I’ve dropped out of a group called Mayors Against Illegal Guns. The reason why I joined the group in the first place is that I took the aim to be what it said -- against illegal guns, a challenge we see day in and day out in the city of Rockford. It is not dealing primarily with assault weapons or machine guns. It’s dealing with a typical handgun. All of those typical weapons are usually in the hands of people who are prohibited from having them…The reason I joined the group is that the original focus, I thought, was going to be focusing on better enforcement of existing laws and, if anything, we had talked about not getting involved with things like banning assault weapons and banning magazine clips. As the original mission was swayed, I decided that it was no longer in line with my beliefs.

    Morrissey also said he would apply for a conceal carry permit, citing death threats against himself and his family:

    Yes, I do support conceal carry. I plan on myself getting a conceal carry permit. I plan on myself getting a conceal carry permit once they become available in the state of Illinois. Any doubt that I might have had about my opinions about conceal carry when I first came into office changed quickly as I became familiar with the types of crimes we’re dealing with, and the focus should not be against law-abiding citizens. We should be focusing our enforcement on folks who have no right to carry a gun concealed or otherwise. 

    Despite Morrissey’s defection, 27 Illinois mayors -- including our own Rahm Emanuel -- still belong to the 950-member group:

    Joel Fritzler, Carbondale 
    Rahm Emanuel, Chicago 
    John A. Rey, DeKalb 
    Harriet Rosenthal, Deerfield 
    Teresa Kernc, Diamond 
    Thomas A. Brown, East Hazel Crest 
    Alvin L. Parks Jr., East St. Louis 
    David J. Kaptain, Elgin 
    Elizabeth Tisdahl, Evanston 
    Michael Howley, Hickory Hills 
    Nancy R. Rotering, Highland Park 
    Joseph T. Tamburino, Hillside 
    Gerald C. Turry, Lincolnwood 
    Joseph J. Broda, Lisle
    Eugene "Gene" Williams, Lynwood
    Ronald M. Serpico, Melrose Park
    Christopher Koos, Normal
    Leon Rockingham, North Chicago
    Kyle R. Hastings, Orland Hills 
    Robert S. Straz, Palos Heights 
    Gerald R. Bennett, Palos Hills
    Greg Marston, Pingree Grove 
    George Van Dusen, Skokie 
    Don A. DeGraff, South Holland 
    Beniamino Mazzulla, Stone Park 
    Laurel Lunt Prussing, Urbana 
    Sam D. Pulia, Westchester