The Illinois House has approved a series of measures that would ban semi-automatic assault weapons in Illinois.
One amendment would make it a felony for anyone to possess a military-style assault weapon or to have large-capacity ammunition magazines.
The debate was contentious between legislators on both sides of the issue, include State Representatives Edward Acevedo and Brandon Phelps.
"If someone breaks into your house and you have a handgun, you should be able to stop them with that," Acevedo says. "If you need an assault weapon to stop that individual from coming through your door or protecting your family, put the gun down, because it doesn't belong in your hands."
Phelps responded by saying, "But you shouldn't be able to tell me what I can protect myself or my family with in my own bedroom or my own home, and that's what you're doing."
Phelps also says the restrictions will hurt hunting in southern Illinois, a big driver of the local economy.
The debate was part of a procedure House Speaker Michael Madigan set up to allow open discussion of contentious issues. The first was last week and he followed that one with another on pensions.
The amendments were approved with Democratic votes only.
Republicans refused to cast votes. GOP Rep. Dennis Reboletti of Elmhurst says Madigan's procedure puts politics before public safety.
(Information from the Associated Press was used in this article. Copyright 2013 All rights reserved.)