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2/28/2013 1:26:00 PM
Illinois lawmakers debate need for assault weapons

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Members of the Illinois House and advocates on both sides of the gun issue are debating whether civilians need to be armed with military-style assault rifles.

The House Judiciary Committee had its third gun hearing in two weeks on Thursday.

Chicago Democratic Rep. Edward Acevedo (ah-sih-VAY’-doh) wants to ban assault weapons. He says civilians don’t need them.

National Rifle Association lobbyist Todd Vandermyde says law-abiding gun owners use them for self-defense, hunting and sports shooting.

Gov. Pat Quinn has been pushing a ban on semi-automatic, high-capacity rifles since before the Connecticut school massacre last month. That and a federal court ruling ordering Illinois to eliminate its ban on carrying concealed handguns have put firearms back on center stage in the Legislature.

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