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SPRINGFIELD -- Legislation banning semiautomatic assault weapons would not likely pass the state Senate if the bill makes its way out of the House, Illinois Senate President Emil Jones (D-Chicago) said Monday.
Despite these comments, state Rep. Edward Acevedo (D-Chicago) said he still plans to call the bill this week in the House.
"I'm not discouraged. I'm going to push forward," Acevedo said. "This is an important piece of legislation, and we shouldn't wait around."
The bill calls for a state ban on semiautomatic assault weapons, assault weapon attachments and .50-caliber rifles. A federal ban on these weapons expired in 2004.
The House narrowly voted down a form of Acevedo's bill last year. He has since amended the measure and worked with Democrats and Republicans to try to pick up the few votes he didn't get in 2005.
Acevedo has also relied on heavy support from Mayor Daley and Gov. Blagojevich.
NRA to fight 'tooth and nail'
"We're continuing to do everything we can to get the bill through the House," said Blagojevich spokeswoman Rebecca Rausch. "We're focused on trying to get the 60 votes we need."
If the bill passes the House, it would likely get stuck in the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Jones spokeswoman Cindy Davidsmeyer. The committee is composed of six Democrats and four Republicans.
At least two Democratic senators would vote against the bill, said the committee's chairman, Sen. John Cullerton (D-Chicago). But Cullerton said the bill could be sent to the Senate Health & Human Services Committee, where it would have a better chance of survival.
Todd Vandermyde, Illinois legislative liaison for the National Rifle Association, hopes that's not the case. He said though Jones' comments were good news, the battle isn't over.
"This doesn't change our plan to fight this thing tooth and nail," Vandermyde said.