Cook County Board blasts assault weapons, wants tougher restrictions

2012-12-19T00:00:00Z Cook County Board blasts assault weapons, wants tougher restrictionsGregory Tejeda Times Correspondent
December 19, 2012 12:00 am  • 

CHICAGO | Cook County Commissioner Joan Patricia Murphy, D-Crestwood, said Tuesday she wants the Illinois General Assembly, if not Congress itself, to ban assault weapons.

Murphy, whose south suburban district includes much of the area along the Illinois/Indiana border, said during the County Board’s meeting she plans to sponsor a resolution asking the higher levels of government to take definitive action on the issue.

“We should all support this 100 percent,” said Murphy, who added she plans to pursue the issue when the County Board meets again Jan. 16.

Murphy was inspired to bring up the point when her colleagues on the County Board approved a resolution paying homage to the students and faculty killed last week at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school.

"There is no need for anyone to own an assault rifle, or any of the magazines that can hold so much ammunition," Murphy said.

Commissioner Deborah Sims, D-Chicago, whose South Side district stretches into suburbs such as Riverdale and Harvey, agreed.

“Twenty little babies who probably didn’t understand should not have been in a place where they wouldn’t feel safe,” she said.

Commissioner Timothy Schneider, R-Elk Grove Village, said he has a FOID card and likes to go to gun ranges occasionally, but said, “When a guy pulls up next to me with an assault rifle, it’s scary.”

Sims said she thinks government officials need to focus attention not only on restricting the use of high-powered firearms but also on mental health care.

Sims cited the closure of the Tinley Park Mental Health Center as a bad move and said she hopes Gov. Pat Quinn reconsiders his actions.

“We have to figure out what we are going to do with mentally-ill people,” she said.

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