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Silverstein votes to ban assault weapons for those under 21, along with bump stocks and a longer cooling off period

silverstein walkout 031518SPRINGFIELD– Long-time gun safety advocate Senator Ira Silverstein spoke in the Senate today about his commitment to banning assault weapons in Illinois. House Bill 1465, which would stop those under 21 from purchasing assault weapons. It passed in the Senate this afternoon along with additional gun safety measures House Bill 1467 and 1468.

“Assault weapons have no place in our communities. Personally, I believe that means in the hands of those over 21 years of age as well,” Silverstein said. “All three bills we are considering today will almost certainly save lives. Assault weapons and bump stocks are nothing more than killing machines.”

Silverstein is the chief sponsor of Senate Bill 3297, which would ban the sale of assault weapons statewide to all ages.

The three measures passed today include:

House Bill 1465 - House Bill 1465 prohibits the sale or transfer of an assault weapon, assault weapon attachment, .50 caliber rifle or large capacity magazine to an individual under the age of 21.

House Bill 1467 - House Bill 1467 makes it illegal to sell, manufacture, purchase or possess bump-stocks and trigger cranks. As amended, the bill allows municipalities to regulate assault weapons as long as the regulation is not less restrictive than state law.

House Bill 1468 - House Bill 1468 increases the waiting period to receive an assault weapon after purchase from 24 hours to 72 hours. This mirrors the existing waiting period for handguns.

“A student who survived the Parkland, Fla. school shooting wrote to me, interested in my assault weapon ban bill. They are looking to lawmakers to follow their lead for a change – not that of the NRA,” Silverstein said. “This is my intention, too.”

“Our young people are watching. My children are watching, as are likely many of yours. If they can’t have faith in us to protect them, what are we saying to them?”

The three bills passed in the Senate today.

PHOTO: Senator Silverstein joins his Senate colleagues at today's National Walkout to support students walking out of school for gun safety.


Silverstein calls for extra security measure in concealed carry licensure process

silverstein 022718SPRINGFIELD- Senator Ira I. Silverstein (D-Chicago) believes Illinois’ concealed carry licensing process can be strengthened by including an additional step: an extra measure of security gained through requiring local law enforcement review.

“At a time when we are talking about preventing weapons from getting into the hands of someone who may be a risk to public safety, himself or others, I believe it is reasonable to close this loophole in the licensing process,” Silverstein said. “If local law enforcement knows of no reason to deny the license, the applicant will be approved and the process completed.”

Senate Bill 3298 would mean a local law enforcement agency or sheriff’s department, depending on the applicant’s residence, would have 30 days to review the application. If it is determined the applicant is unsuitable for a concealed carry license, the Illinois State Police will be notified. If the State Police receives no notification of objection, it will approve and issue the application. An applicant denied approval may petition the circuit court in his or her county for a hearing.

Because local law enforcement would be the most likely agency to have to respond to a shooting perpetrated by a CCL holder, Silverstein believes they should be part of the review process in advance of a license being issued. This can be one way to lessen the likelihood a potentially violent person can get and carry a weapon that could result in more incidents like the Parkland, Las Vegas or Newtown shootings.

“Aside from an arrest record, local law enforcement may know something about an applicant or be aware of behavior such as domestic violence calls without charges or affiliation with a gang which the State Police might have knowledge of,” Silverstein said. “I believe it is fair to apply this practice statewide for an extra safeguard and to protect our communities all across Illinois.”

Senate Bill 3298 awaits assignment to a Senate committee for further action.

Silverstein wants crackdown on assault weapons

ar 15Sales of weapon like that used in Florida mass shooting would be banned in Illinois

SPRINGFIELD – Long-time gun safety advocate State Senator Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) has introduced a measure to address the sale of assault weapons, such as the AR-15, that have been used in countless mass shootings in America.

Senate Bill 3297 will make it illegal to sell assault weapons in Illinois. The legislation spells out which weapons are included in the definition of assault weapons and also includes the sale of so-called “large capacity ammunition feeding devices” of more than 10 rounds in a single magazine, belt or drum.

“Since December, I have been meeting with groups in my district about their concerns with gun violence, and particularly the sale of automatic weapons and their ammunition,” Silverstein said. “I drafted and filed this legislation in January because I am sick of seeing people in our schools, churches and public spaces mowed down by those who possess these killing machines.”

Last week’s school shooting in Parkland, Fla. was perpetrated by a young man with an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle. Last November, a gunman killed at least 26 people with an AR-15 style weapon in a Texas church. Fifty-eight people were killed and more than 500 wounded in October at an outdoor concert in Las Vegas; the gunman in that case possessed an arsenal including AR-15-style rifles. These events are only three of dozens in recent years with record numbers of victims killed by rapid-fire weapons.

According to the Brady Campaign, a national gun control advocacy organization, shootings are the second leading cause of death of children 19 and under. Youth in rural U.S. counties are as likely to die by gunshot as those in urban counties: rural children in suicides and accidental shootings and urban children in gun homicides.

“I’ve been working for some time on the problem of too many guns in the hands of the wrong people in our community. In the last year, I’ve introduced legislation to require finger printing for FOID card issuance, to limit the sales of guns, to increase licensing requirements on those who sell guns and ammunition, to prohibit imitation firearms and to require liability insurance for firearms owners,” Silverstein said.

“Gun manufacturers and the NRA have shown no willingness to even negotiate on commonsense changes in the law for our safety, so lawmakers must take action that will stop the massacre of innocents. Enough is enough.”

BanAssualWeaponst Button v2Senator Silverstein has established a petition for those interested in his gun safety measures and in stopping the sales of AR-15 style weapons and ammunition in Illinois. It is available on his website, www.SenatorSilverstein.com. A fact sheet on the effects of gun violence from the Brady Campaign is attached to this release.

Senate Bill 3297 currently awaits action in the Senate Assignments Committee.

Silverstein works for four-year property tax freeze

silverstein 030117SPRINGFIELD- To provide relief to working families in Illinois, Senator Ira I. Silverstein (D-Chicago) plans to reform property taxes in Cook County and the contiguous collar counties of Lake, McHenry, Kane, DuPage and Will.

Silverstein’s plan calls for a four-year freeze of property taxes. In addition to saving money for taxpayers, his goal is to provide the legislature the time and incentive to institute a graduated income tax system and bring the entire taxation system into greater balance. The Senator will submit legislation this week to launch the plan.

“We have a regressive tax system, and skyrocketing property tax rates are surely playing a role in some of the flight of working families from Illinois,” Silverstein said. “I believe this plan would pause the process long enough for lawmakers to analyze and make changes to our state income tax rate for a more fair overall tax picture.

“Balancing the system with income tax reform could eliminate the need for property tax increases going forward. Taxpayers need a break, and our state’s highly regressive system causes burdens, usually on middle class and lower income families.”

Other facets of Silverstein’s property tax reform plan include giving the same exemptions senior citizens receive to individuals on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and to retired first responders who are eligible for property tax exemptions.

Recipients of SSI typically have limited income, and home ownership is threatened by rising property taxes. Adding those on SSI who are disabled would be a compassionate practice to match what is provided to those over 65.

First responders may retire earlier than age 65 due to the stress and physical demands of the job. These individuals who put their lives on the line as firefighters, police officers or EMTs have better odds of staying in their homes in the community if the state provides this tax relief and stability.

“We must get started on big steps to reform our taxation system and I believe this plan moves us in the right direction,” Silverstein said. “As a cosponsor of the joint resolution to amend the Constitution to allow a graduated income tax (SJRCA 1), I know we need a plan with several components to change our overall system to make it fairer while providing revenue for the services Illinoisans expect. I think the steps in this plan open the door to major change.”

The property tax freeze would not apply to school districts that meet financial hardship provisions. Those districts could suffer greater harm when they are already in financial distress.

The four-year freeze would provide the Legislature with time to implement a graduated income tax that would generate sufficient revenue to make up for the lost revenue from property taxes.

Silverstein will file legislation outlining his plan this week; he then anticipates it being assigned to the Senate Revenue Committee for its review.

Senator Ira I. Silverstein

Majority Caucus Chair Ira I. Silverstein

8th District

Years served:
1999 - 2018

Committee assignments: Executive (Vice Chairperson); Executive Appointments; Financial Institutions; Gaming; Judiciary; Revenue.

Biography: Attorney; Degrees from Loyola University in 1982 and John Marshall Law School in 1985; past President of the Northtown Community Council; board member of the Korean Senior Center; member of the Greek Pan-Hellenic Laconian organization; Director of the Bernard Horwich JCC; married (wife, Debra), has four children.