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Article updated: 4/11/2013 5:17 PM

Heat continues on gun issues

Don Harmon

Don Harmon

Dan Kotowski

Dan Kotowski

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By Doug T. Graham

SPRINGFIELD -- Two suburban officials and Gov. Pat Quinn spoke before a crowd of gun control advocates who converged on the state Capitol Thursday to lobby lawmakers.

State Sen. Dan Kotowski, a Park Ridge Democrat, referred to civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. as he told the advocates to keep lawmakers accountable for passing gun control measures like universal background checks, reporting lost and stolen firearms and banning high-capacity ammunition magazines.

"As Dr. King said, 'Our lives begin to end when we are silent about things that matter,'" Kotowski told the crowd. "This is our time to speak up."

The gun control rally comes at a time of high tension on gun issues at the state Capitol.

Advocates of letting Illinoisans carry concealed firearms say they have the high ground. A federal court has set a June 8 deadline for Illinois to adopt such a concealed carry law.

But Democrats who control the Capitol have blocked that effort for years and are now looking at how to restrict where and when someone can carry a gun.

State Sen. Don Harmon, an Oak Park Democrat, said while gun control supporters may not be able to get all of the laws they seek, "let's always focus on our ultimate objective: we want our neighborhoods to be safer and we want our kids and our families to be safe."

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