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Cook County Board Bans Assault Weapons, Toughens Penalties

By at July 17, 2013 | 3:23 pm | Print

The Cook County Board of Commissioners today approved changes to the county’s assault weapons ban and toughened penalties for violations of the ordinance.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Commissioner Jesus G. “Chuy” Garcia (D-7th) and Commissioner Larry Suffredin (D-13th) sponsored amendments to the “Blair Holt Assault Weapons Ban,” named for the son of a Chicago police officer who was killed in a 2007 shooting while protecting a high school classmate. The changes update, define and expand various categories of assault weapons whose sale, possession or ownership are banned in Cook County. The amended ordinance sets out in great detail the specific weapons that are covered by the ban.

The County Board’s action follows recent approval of the state’s concealed carry law, which gives local governments a deadline by which they need to address changes in their own ordinances governing possession of guns.

“We must do what we can to stem the tide of gun violence and keep weapons with high levels of destructive capability out of circulation,” President Preckwinkle said. “This amended ordinance recognizes the challenges we face in Cook County and puts in place responsible and meaningful laws aimed at protecting our residents and law enforcement officers.”

The amended assault weapons ordinance will increase penalties for violators of its provisions. Any person found in violation shall be subject to a fine of between $1,000 and $5,000. The previous fines ranged from $500 to $1,000. A subsequent violation of the ordinance could bring a fine of up to $10,000. Individuals found in violation may still be sentenced for a jail term of up to six months.

The ordinance exempts any firearm that has been made permanently inoperable or is an “antique firearm,” or weapons designed specifically for Olympic target shooting events.

The assault weapons ban applies to all municipalities in Cook County unless a municipality has its own law on the books.

In a separate action, the Board also approved an ordinance proposed by President Preckwinkle and Commissioner Garcia that establishes guidelines and penalties concerning access to firearms and ammunition by minors.
The “Protection of Minors” ordinance prohibits the sale or transfer of any firearm or ammunition to a minor, defined in the ordinance as any person under the age of 21. It further sets specific rules that firearms owners must follow to secure weapons and prevent access to those weapons by minors, such as storing them in locked containers separate from ammunition or equipping them with trigger locks.

“Today’s headlines are filled with stories of homicides and suicides of young people, as well as children accidently shooting themselves or a sibling,” Garcia said. “It is our responsibility to ensure he most vulnerable in our society are safe. As an elected official I am sworn to protect them. The passing of the “Protection of Minors Ordinance” is yet another step in my strategy to develop a comprehensive public safety and anti-violence action agenda in Cook County.”

Penalties for violating the ordinance include a mandatory fine of $1,000 for the first offense and a fine of up to $2,000 for each repeat offense. The ordinance includes a provision that exempts access and use of a firearm by a minor in a lawful act of self-defense, in the defense of another person, or if a minor gains access to a firearm through unlawful entry.

Also exempted are law enforcement officers and members of the armed forces or National Guard while engaged in their official duties.
“This is a common sense approach to making sure children do not have unrestricted access to weapons and will hopefully prevent the kinds of incidents we hear about all too often, where youngsters find loaded weapons with tragic results,” President Preckwinkle said.

Both ordinances go into effect immediately.

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  1. [...] ALSO….  Cook County Board Bans Assault Weapons, Toughens Penalties  Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… By almaanaya in Uncategorized on October 18, 2013. ← Fair Housing for All OTHER EVENTS & UPDATES [...]

6 Comments


  1. Joel Mendoza, 2 months ago

    These laws will be the end of us. How do any of these laws not infringe on the capabilities of a well regulated militia? Not to mention, this is considered to be the most violent state. If gun control worked then the my previous statement wouldnt be true considering our restrictions.


  2. Moon Jones, 6 months ago

    Ban Gangs instead. That is the leading cause of death in Cook. When the guns are all banded what will you do to out law fists? Banning a right is not the way. Band GANGS!


  3. Moon, 6 months ago

    Ban Gangs instead. That is the leading cause of death in Cook. When the guns are all banded what will you do to out law fists? Banning a right is not the way. Band GANGS!


  4. John, 9 months ago

    You are missing the biggest problem with banning something…IT DOESN’T WORK.

    Doesn’t work with drugs, didn’t work with liquor, and it won’t work with guns.

    But some of these problems are related, like Chicago’s murder rate, the biggest percentage of those are gang/drug related.

    Anyone remember prohibition?

    Why did they legalize booze again after a 13 year ban on it? Was it NOW found to be healthy for people?
    No they got rid of prohibition because of all the gangs, murders, corruption, & cost of imprisoning people for it.

    Ok, now how do you suppose we (Chicago) could get rid of our gang, murder, corruption, & ever increasing prison costs?

    Legalize all drugs, and get these freaks off the worst of them, so they aren’t out killing innocent people and each other in turf wars.
    Use the revenue from them to try to rehabilitate users, like they have done with cigarettes & alcohol.

    Then we have people saying that NO ONE needs a AR15 type weapon. I guess they don’t remember the LA Riots. Mobs of people looting & killing.
    Or more recently Katrina, again with mobs looting & killing. People said that they managed to keep looters away, only because they had semi auto’s with large magazines.

    Also we have the Haymarket massacre, Lattimer Massacre, Ludlow Massacre, Bay View Massacre, and the Battle of Athens.

    Examples go on & on where people needed to defend themselves.
    Sure there’s always going to be a few that will make it look bad, but there is no need to punish the majority of honest gun owners, or pass laws that will make them criminals too.

    But if people are REALLY worried about gun deaths, maybe they should take a long hard look at our President…this guy is more dangerous with a pen, than 200 million Americans are with firearms!


  5. Jeremy, 9 months ago

    Three words: ineffective, ignorant, and asinine.


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