"Not taking your guns": New IL assault weapon ban highlights Marion legislative town hall

by Aaron Price | 1/18/23 | 11:14 a.m.

©️ WFCN News
©️ WFCN News

MARION - Six local Illinois lawmakers gathered with members of the public at a legislative town hall on the evening of Tuesday, January 17th at the Marion Cultural and Civic Center. The town hall was a very well attended event, with hundreds filling the auditorium looking for answers to some of the most pressing issues currently happening in the State of Illinois.

The town hall was attended by State Senator Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg), State Senator Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro), State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton), State Representative Patrick Windhorst (R-Metropolis), State Representative Paul Jacobs (R-Pomona), and State Representative David Friess (R-Red Bud).

The main issues discussed largely included crime in Illinois, including a recent ban on assault weapons in Illinois. Several law enforcement agencies were in attendance, many of which have said they will not be enforcing the ban on large-capacity magazines and assault weapons in the state.

Senator Fowler and Representative Windhorst were two lawmakers who addressed their concerns, and acknowledged that the statewide ban on assault weapons is still an issue that could easily change in the coming weeks in Illinois courts. The lawmakers assured those in attendance that they were pro second-amendment and "are doing everything they can to ensure that right is protected."

Although most in attendance agreed with their stance, there was no representation at the meeting from those who are in favor of the new law.

Illinois State Rifle Association Executive Director Richard Pearson was also in attendance at Tuesday's town hall, and told the crowd that they are prepared to bring the ban of assault weapons as far as the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary.

Williamson County Sheriff Jeff Diederich spoke on the law enforcement stance of the new law. “With this new legislation, the State of Illinois is targeting the wrong people. As law enforcement, we cannot and will not get behind a law that is clearly unconstitutional," Diederich said.

Aside from the new Illinois gun law, legislators wrapped up the town hall by discussing new legislative boundaries in Southern Illinois, and highlighted the new areas where each lawmaker will be representing.

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