SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (NEXSTAR) — When house democrat Kelly Cassidy went to bed Saturday night, she was already prepared for a tough day Saturday.
Her schedule included several vigils for Transgender Day of Remembrance — a day dedicated to the trans lives lost in the last year.
That pain became even more prominent when she woke up to news of the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs.
“We’ve we’ve got to deal with these weapons that are just designed to kill humans,” Cassidy (D-Chicago) said.
Lawmakers like Cassidy have been working on gun control proposals in Illinois since the mass shooting at the Highland Park fourth of July parade this summer. A working group in the house is dedicated to bringing forward major reforms, but it’s unclear when they will be ready.
“There’s no secret that assault weapons have to be reviewed in this state,” House Democrat LaShawn Ford (D-Chicago) said. “And we hope to see something that we can agree on as relates to assault weapons.”
The governor, and key members of the working groups all want to see an assault rifle ban.
Pritzker doubled down on the call right after he was reelected.
“I think the fact is whether we get it done in November, or we get it done in January and early in the session whenever that may be. We are going to work on passing an assault weapon ban,” Pritzker said in his first press conference following election day.
Even within their own party, it is proving tough for Democrats to get the votes needed for major changes like an assault rifle ban.
“You’re going to always have representatives that should be catering to the people that elect them,” Ford said. “And sometimes that means that you’re not able to get the numbers that you need.”
Representative Bob Morgan chairs the working group in the house. He was at the Highland Park Parade when the shooter opened fire. He couldn’t be reached today, but his website about the working groups says, “the goal of the working group is to combat the gun violence pandemic in Illinois, and no legislation that pursues that goal is off limits.”