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NRA Challenges Semi-Auto Ban Referendum in Illinois

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Fairfax, Va. – The National Rifle Association is backing a protest filed with the Electoral Board in Cook County, Illinois, in response to a petition to ban the sale of semi-automatic firearms across the state. The petition asks, “Shall the Governor and the members of the Illinois General Assembly enact legislation to ban the sale of semi-automatic and assault weapons that are used by criminals to threaten the lives of law enforcement and the people of Illinois?”

The petition is aimed at creating a referendum on the county's November ballot to prevent citizens of Illinois from being able to purchase semi-automatic firearms, which are the firearms most commonly bought for self-protection today. NRA member Selvin Morgan, a resident of Cook County, has filed an objection to this petition, and the NRA is supporting him in this effort. “The NRA will fight this and any other attempt to restrict the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners,” said Chris W. Cox, NRA-ILA chief lobbyist. “Semi-automatic firearms have been around for 125 years and are used everywhere in America for self-defense, competitive shooting at all levels and hunting. Banning the sale of these commonly owned firearms will do nothing to curb crime, because criminals pay no attention to the law.”

Although the names, addresses and signatures of more than 83,000 Cook County residents are required in order for the question raised by the petition to make it onto the ballot, the petitioner has gathered and submitted information for only approximately 2,500 people -- many of whom are lacking valid names, addresses and signatures.

This petition and Mr. Morgan’s protest to the petition will be the subject of a hearing before the Cook County Electoral Board in the coming weeks. At that time, NRA will assist Mr. Morgan in asking that this referendum be stricken from the ballot.


Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America’s oldest civil rights and sportsmen's group. Four million members strong, NRA continues its mission to uphold Second Amendment rights and to advocate enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime. The Association remains the nation's leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the military.


On this edition of the ILA Report, Cam Edwards speaks to NRA-ILA Media Liaison Rachel Parsons about top firearms news and legislation from across the nation. In headlines this week:

  • California: Long Gun Registration Bill to be Voted on Thursday!
  • Pennsylvania: House Judiciary Committee to Consider Attack on Concealed Carry on Tuesday, August 10!
  • NRA Challenges Semi-Auto Ban Referendum in Illinois
  • California: Open Carry Ban Advances to Senate Floor

Airdate:  8/12/10



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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.