Chicago-area gun violence survivors testify in support of assault weapons ban legislation

Illinois assault weapons ban 2022: Protect Illinois Communities Act would affect current gun legislation in state
Monday, December 12, 2022
CHICAGO (WLS) -- The first hearing on the "Protect Illinois Communities Act" was held Monday in Chicago by the House Judiciary Committee.

Tina Patterson is from East Garfield Park. Lauren Bennett is from Highland Park. Both are recovering from gunshot wounds they received during mass shootings.

Bennett was shot twice during the Highland Park July 4th parade shooting, by a legally purchased assault rifle that produced more 85 rounds in less than a minute. Had one of the bullets been a centimeter deeper, she would have died.

"We ran through bullets all around us in every direction, we ran around pools of blood from unfortunate people who were not be going to their families that day," she testified.

Patterson ran through bullets when her leg was shattered by one during a Halloween mass shooting in East Garfield Park.

"The bullet hole in my leg was so large it broke a bone it hit a nerve doctor say it if it was closer to my artery, I wouldn't be here," she told the committee.

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Patterson, Bennett and several mothers of children who were killed by gun violence came together to urge state lawmakers to pass proposed legislation that would ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines in Illinois.

The package was introduced by state Rep. Bob Morgan, and includes legislation that would ban assault weapons, better implement the state's Firearm Restraining Order law, raise the minimum age to obtain a FOID card to 21 and address illegal gun trafficking.

This is the first official hearing on this matter.
"Ten of my family members were shot, including three kids, ages from 3, 13 and 11," Patterson said. "There is an epidemic out there, the spread of gun violence is everywhere."

A resolution is also being introduced Monday morning, honoring Highland Park first responders and officials for jumping in to help the victims of the July Fourth mass shooting.

Republican state representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the legislation.
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