CITY HALL — In effect shouting into deaf ears in Congress and the General Assembly, a City Council committee called Monday for a state and national ban on assault weapons.
"We need action and we need it now," said Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th), sponsor of a resolution urging the General Assembly and Congress to adopt a ban on assault weapons.
"Our message is simple," Lopez said. "There is no reason weapons like these belong in the hands of average citizens."
"Weapons of war have no place in our society," said Alejandro Sanchez, of the Brighton Park Neighborhood Council.
That position was echoed in expert testimony offered by Colleen Daley, executive director of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence.
"These weapons of war are designed not for sport, but to kill humans effectively and efficiently," Daley said. "These weapons were designed for combat, and specifically to kill large numbers of people in a short amount of time."
Lopez acknowledged Chicago has a court-tested ban on assault weapons already in place, but argued that a national ban needs to be reinstated. His resolution called for the Illinois legislature to lead the way on that.
"We have a moral obligation to stand up not only for the City of Chicago, but indeed for the entire country," Lopez said.
His resolution passed the Public Safety Committee Monday without opposition and heads for the full City Council next week for final passage.
The committee also approved Mayor Rahm Emanuel's appointment of Alicia Tate-Nadeau as new executive director of the Office of Emergency Management and Communications. That confirmation will likewise go forward for final Council approval next week.
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