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Highland Park set tight gun limits long before parade attack

Members of the FBI's Evidence Response Team Unit investigate on Central Avenue near Green Bay Road in downtown Highland Park, Ill., less than 24 hours after a gunman killed several people and wounded dozens more by firing a high-powered rifle from a rooftop onto a crowd attending Highland Park's Fourth of July parade, Tuesday morning, July 5, 2022.

CHICAGO (AP) — In a state with among the nation’s hardest gun rules and a metropolis that bans semi-automatic weapons, Dana Gordon nonetheless feared a mass capturing might occur right here.

Gordon, a Highland Park resident and an anti-gun violence activist, knew the acquainted questions from victims of mass shootings throughout the nation — how might such violence come to their faculty, their grocery store or movie show, their metropolis.

You are reading: Highland Park set tight gun limits long before parade attack

The newest act of mass violence to hit the U.S. got here Monday within the northern Chicago suburb, when police stated a gunman climbed to the highest of a enterprise alongside Highland Park’s Independence Day parade route and opened fireplace. Seven individuals died and greater than 30 individuals have been wounded.

The violence has targeted consideration on Highland Park’s 2013 ban on semi-automatic weapons and large-capacity magazines.

Illinois officers have lengthy contended that authorized and unlawful weapons are simply bought in surrounding states, hampering even the hardest native legal guidelines’ effectiveness. Authorities stated Tuesday that the suspected gunman, a 21-year-old resident of close by Highwood, legally bought the rifle used within the assault within the Chicagoland space however didn’t say precisely the place he purchased it.

Additionally they haven’t specified the kind of weapon used, solely describing it as excessive powered and “just like an AR-15.”

Highland Park’s clampdown survived a authorized problem from an area pediatrician and the Illinois State Rifle Affiliation that ended on the U.S. Supreme Court docket’s doorstep in 2015 when justices declined to listen to the case.

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Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering responded to the win, on the time arguing: “Banning assault weapons and huge capability magazines is a typical sense step to lowering gun violence and defending our youngsters, our regulation enforcement and our communities from potential mass violence and grief.”

Two conservative justices — Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Justice Antonin Scalia — stated they’d have heard the case and struck Highland Park’s limits.

“The overwhelming majority of residents who personal and use such rifles accomplish that for lawful functions, together with self-defense and goal capturing,” Thomas wrote.

For Gordon and different activists in Highland Park, Monday’s violent assault was a push to proceed working towards nationwide restrictions on such weapons and ammo.

Highland Park’s native and federal elected officers again gun restrictions, displaying it by their presence at anti-gun violence rallies and their votes. Police have been additionally stationed all alongside the parade route. However that didn’t cease the killings on Monday, Gordon stated.

“Individuals have to appreciate, there’s nothing that makes any neighborhood immune,” she stated. “The one factor that’s going to assist any of us is that if we vote out legislators who refuse to do something about weapons.”

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Gordon helped arrange an anti-gun violence arts occasion on the town final month following the mass shootings at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, and a faculty in Uvalde, Texas. Weeks later, she was fielding telephone calls from mates who fled their metropolis’s vacation parade in terror.

Gordon stated because the capturing she’s obtained dozens of emails from mates and neighbors, expressing their shock that such violence might hit their residence. She stated it offers her hope that influential voices could make a change — tempered by her perception that nationwide change is the one hope of stopping future mass shootings.

“You may’t defend individuals on a regular basis,” she stated. “It is a gun problem.”

The Buffalo and Uvalde killings did immediate Congress to cross the most sweeping gun violence invoice in a decade. The package deal toughens background checks for the youngest gun consumers, retains firearms from extra home violence offenders and helps states put in place crimson flag legal guidelines that make it simpler for authorities to take weapons from individuals adjudged to be harmful.

But it surely was signed into regulation simply days after the Supreme Court docket’s ruling struck down a New York regulation that restricted peoples’ capability to hold hid weapons. And it didn’t embody extra sweeping proposals lengthy backed by activists together with an assault-style weapons ban and background checks.

“I do know there’s way more work to do, and I’m by no means going to surrender, however it is a monumental day,” President Joe Biden stated after signing the invoice on June 25.


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