Another horrific mass shooting has again brought the gun reform discussion to the forefront of our agenda in Springfield. It’s a discussion that needs to happen and I believe it should start with an issue on which there already is broad agreement: banning the sale and manufacture of “bump stock” devices in Illinois.

A “bump stock” is basically a gun modification device that can be attached to a semi-automatic rifle to make it fire much more rapidly, like a fully-automatic weapon. There are currently more than half-a-dozen bills pending in the House that address the issue, but so far Speaker Madigan has only allowed discussion on one bill that was so over-broad that it actually included new restrictions on the sale of materials that had nothing at all to do with guns and so was defeated on the House floor.

We have been assured that in the coming weeks we will be debating several other options, and I will be pushing for a fair hearing for House Bill 4120. I am a chief sponsor of House Bill 4120 which makes it illegal in Illinois to knowingly import, sell, manufacture, transfer, or possess a “bump stock” in Illinois. This bill addresses the “bump stock” issue – period. No surprises or unrelated language. It is common sense reform that has bi-partisan support.

I am and always will be a strong supporter of our Second Amendment right to own and bear arms. I love the outdoors, and I like to hunt. But I am convinced that there is no good, legitimate purpose for the use of “bump stocks” and I know that the majority of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle agree.

For the safety of our schools and our communities, we need to move this discussion forward. Passing a clean “bump stock” ban bill is a good place to start.