ELMHURST – In the wake of high-profile gun violence, state Sen. Chris Nybo, R-Elmhurst, is urging the Illinois Senate Judiciary Committee to call a public hearing as soon as possible on legislation banning bump stocks.
Nybo filed Senate Bill 2247, which would ban the sale, purchase and possession of bump stocks, on Oct. 24, 2017, in response to the massacre of 58 people on Oct. 1, 2017, at a Las Vegas music festival that involved the use of bump stocks. A bump stock increases the firing speed of a semiautomatic weapon and allows it to achieve speeds similar to a fully automatic rifle. Fully automatic machine guns are illegal in the state of Illinois.
"Frankly, I'm shocked that such a horrific device even exists, and I was shocked that such a horrific device could even be considered legal and not already been made unlawful," Nybo said.
He said banning bump stocks would bring Illinois "one step closer" to preventing mass devastation and mass murder in the state.
"The only purpose that I see for bump stock[s], quite frankly, is to do what unfortunately the shooter in Las Vegas did – which is to cause massive casualties in a short amount of time. Maximum devastation through the easiest means possible," Nybo said.
He said banning bump stocks in Illinois is a priority for him in "taking appropriate steps" to prevent tragedies in Illinois.
"This should be one of the easiest steps in that direction because I think it's the least restriction on gun owners, it's reasonable and I just see no valid reason why anyone would need to have bump stocks," Nybo said.
As of Feb. 21, the bill had been assigned to the Judiciary Committee, but it had not been called for a public hearing, which would enable it to have a vote called in order for it to get to the Senate floor, Nybo said.
Nybo is a chief co-sponsor of the identical bill state Sen. Julie A. Morrison, D-Deerfield, has filed – Senate Bill 2317 – and Judiciary Committee Chaiman state Sen. Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago, is another chief co-sponsor of the bill. Nybo hopes either bill will get a hearing and be heard on the Senate floor.
"There's a lot of discussion, desire in our state and in our country right now for us to do as much as we can to further restrict guns and prevent the type of tragedies that have taken place in Nevada and Florida. And I'm a part of that chorus," Nybo said.
He called banning bump stocks an "incremental step" and said he expects it to receive strong bipartisan support.
"It's not going to solve all of our problems with gun violence in Illinois or in our country, but I think it's something that we could do now and something I think that we should do now," Nybo said.