In 28th Senate race, both candidates call for stricter gun laws and bans
In a rare example of bipartisan agreement on the divisive issue, Democratic state Sen. Laura Murphy and Republican challenger Sal Raspanti both support banning the sale of military-style firearms -- at least temporarily.
Responding to a question about gun violence, Murphy touted her support of legislation that would restrict sales of military-style weapons, as well as other bills designed to reduce the proliferation of guns.
Raspanti said he's open to a temporary ban on such firearms as well as high-capacity magazines. Such a ban should be in place until lawmakers can figure out the issue and prevent tragedies like this summer's mass shooting in Highland Park, he said.
Raspanti's position represented a break from his party's stance on guns.
"Something clearly needs to change," said Raspanti, who now serves as Park Ridge's city clerk. "I'm open to considering any legislation that makes our communities safer."
Police must also better enforce laws already on the books, Raspanti added.
"Illinois already has some of the most strict gun laws in the country," he said in a subsequent email.
Additionally, more attention needs to be given to the link between mental health issues and "these violent and senseless acts," Raspanti said.
Murphy said crime has escalated, in part, because people "have access to so many weapons."
Murphy, who has represented the 28th District since 2015 and hasn't had an election opponent since 2016, supported legislation enacted this year that bans the ownership of privately manufactured guns without serial numbers.
She said she also favors restricting some people's ability to get a firearm owners identification card.
But firearms like the ones used in Highland Park and other mass shootings particularly trouble Murphy. She said she doesn't understand why anyone needs "a military-style assault weapon."
"When we have this accessibility to all these weapons, people can't feel safe," she said.
Abortion and government spending were among the other issues discussed during the roughly 50-minute interview, which can be found online at bit.ly/3T6CCQo.
Redrawn ahead of the 2022 election, the 28th District includes parts of Park Ridge, Des Plaines, Chicago, Elk Grove Village, Schaumburg, Hanover Park, Mount Prospect, Morton Grove, Niles and other communities. Election Day is Nov. 8.