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Illinois lawmakers debate need for assault weapons

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CHICAGO (Associated Press) -

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 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.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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