She also wants to use gang shootings involving illegal GLOCK switches and auto sears as an excuse to ban standard capacity magazines.
After a shooting in East Garfield Park left 14 people wounded, Mayor Lori Lightfoot urged state lawmakers Tuesday to ban assault rifles and devices that turn semiautomatic weapons into machine guns.
“Last night’s shooting reminds us that there are too many weapons of war available to criminals,” Lightfoot said in a written statement about Monday night’s shooting in the 2700 block of West Flournoy Street. “We must have a statewide ban, and I urge the legislature to act.”
Mayoral spokesman Ryan Johnson said Lightfoot was “referring to assault weapons and weapons modifications that create automatic firing.”
Her appeal came days after a Sun-Times, WBEZ and NPR investigation found that Chicago police in recent years have recovered an increasing number of extended magazines and “auto sears,” small devices known on the street as “switches” that allow semiautomatic handguns to fire automatically.
At the same time, the number of machine gun prosecutions and mass shootings has risen. It’s unclear, though, whether a switch-equipped handgun was used in Monday’s mass shooting.
Sources said rifle rounds were recovered at the scene and that an automatic weapon appeared to be among multiple guns used. But Johnson and police spokesman Don Terry cited the ongoing investigation in declining to comment on the specific firepower.
Switches are banned federally, along with bump stocks that similarly turn semiautomatic rifles into automatic weapons. Switches and bump stocks are considered machine guns under federal law — even when they aren’t attached to a firearm.