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Gun control debate renewed in Illinois

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The largest mass killing in U.S. history has reopend the debate on gun control. (WLS)

While the politicians debate immigration on the national stage, the debate over gun control has been renewed in Illinois.

Gun control advocates and several police chiefs believe these mass shootings could be prevented by passing the right laws.

Laws that many say would not limit a citizen's second amendment rights.

After so many shootings, gun control advocates say now is the time.

It didn't happen after Sandy Hook, Aurora, Colorado, Charleston, South Carolina and San Bernardino, California, but gun control advocates hope Orlando, the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, will finally be the turning point in what they call common sense gun laws.

"Something has to change. Right now we've had so much inaction. Inaction is obviously not working. We've had mass shootings after mass shootings. We have people dying every single day on the streets in Chicago, we had seven people killed this weekend," said Colleen Daley of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence.

Colleen Daley with the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence says it's time for Americans to stand up to the National Rifle Association and the legislators they support.

The last effort to pass a law came a day after 14 people were killed in San Bernardino, California. The senate rejected a ban on gun purchases for people on the terrorist watch list. Illinois Senator Mark Kirk was the only Republican to vote for it.

"We believe if you're on the fed "No Fly" list or the terrorist watch list, you should not be allowed to purchase a weapon," said Buffalo Grove Police Chief Steven Casstevens.

Casstevens is the head of the Illinois Association of Police Chiefs. The group has not only been vocal in calling for a gun laws to prevent terrorist watch list people from buying weapons, but also for laws to ban the sales of certain assault weapons, such as the type used in Orlando and in many recent mass shootings.

"The reality is, I have yet to see a legitimate reason to use high capacity magazines for hunting or sport shooting," said Casstevens.

The 10-year assault weapons ban expired in 2004. There have been multiple unsuccessful attempts to renew the ban.

"These are weapons of war, meant to do severe harm," said Daley.

In addition, the Illinois Police Chiefs Association says there needs to be a balance between protecting second amendment rights and making sure guns do not get in the hands of the wrong people.

The Illinois State Rifle Association did not want to comment on the Orlando tragedy. So far, neither has the NRA.
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