Senate Panel Endorses Ammunition Limits

May 20, 2013

The Illinois Senate's Executive Committee voted 12-3 Monday to advance legislation banning magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.

Parents of two children killed in the Sandy Hook school massacre were on hand during the committee hearing. They said it is possible their sons would still be alive today if the shooter had been forced to reload more often.

The shootings in Newtown, Connecticut were rapid.

"All of those lives were taken in less than four minutes by a single gunman, armed with an assault weapon and ten, 30-round, high capacity magazines,” said Mark Barden, whose son Daniel was one of the 20 children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary. "How many more kids might be alive today if he’d had to reload three more times, or three times as often. Maybe my little Daniel would be alive.”

Barden told Illinois Senators by limiting ammunition to 10 rounds, they were taking action to prevent their own Newtown. Barden said Sandy Hook killer Adam Lanza consciously took higher-capacity magazines with him "to kill a lot more people and he did.''

At the hearing, Nicole Hockley, whose six-year-old son, Dylan, also died at Sandy Hook, called for greater ammunition limits.

"(Adam Lanza) chose to leave his smaller capacity magazines at home," Hockley said. "He chose to have the best kill rate possible by using his high-capacity magazines, which only exist to spray as many bullets as possible in the shortest timeframe without reloading. In an instant, my precious boy was gone and so was everyone else."

Hockley told Senators that what happened in Newtown could happen in Illinois, but banning the sale of high-capacity magazines would help to prevent it.

"You are taking an action to prevent your own Newtown," she said.

Jay Keller represents the state's firearms manufactures. He said to prevent tragedies, lawmakers need to broaden their focus, and improve mental health services. Keller said manufacturers will move out of state if the measure passes.

“This bill before you doesn’t fix anything,” Keller said. "A magazine ban is a knee-jerk reaction that fails to address the underlying societal problems."

Todd Vandermyde of the National Rifle Association said he should have the same weapons as police to protect his family.

Magazines people already own would remain legal under this plan.

Story source: Illinois Public Radio