2nd district debate generates lively exchange on gun topic - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

2nd district debate generates lively exchange on gun topic

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Some of the contenders to replace Jesse Jackson Jr. in Congress battled it out in the 2nd district debate at the Governor's State University Thursday night.

It was a lively exchange between ten democrats on the stage at the campus in the south suburbs. They discussed everything from whether we should keep American troops in Afghanistan even after the president says combat operations will seize, to whether we should balance the budget with spending cuts, tax increases, or a combination of both.

Given the national discussion on gun control and recent hearings locally, it was no surprise that some of the sharpest exchanges during the debate were on the topic. FOX 32's Mike Flannery, who moderated the debate, asked for a show of hands on who supported the president's proposal for a ban on assault weapons and on high capacity ammunition magazines. Only one candidate disagreed with that proposal: Debbie Halvorson-- the former congresswoman who has the backing of the National Rifle Association.

"I refuse to support any other wide-ranging law that is going to harm a law-abiding citizen until we do something that is going to go after the criminal," Halvorson said.

All of the candidates agreed on issuing universal background checks before a gun could be purchased.

"Even though it's probably going to happen in the state of Illinois, I'm also against concealed carry," Robin Kelly said. "When do we say enough is enough with all the killings in Chicago and all the mass murders around the country?"

"If you have a car and if you sell that car, you have to transfer the title of that car. We need to do the same thing with guns so we can track where these guns are going and where they are coming from," Ald. Anthony Beale said.

Also weighing in on that issue was State Senator Toi Hutchinson, who in the past has run for the general assembly with the backing of the NRA. She has since broken ties with the group and supports all three of the president's proposal on the assault weapons ban, the ban on high-capacity ammo magazines, as well as universal background checks.

Two candidates in the Republican primary later this month also participated in an earlier encounter at Governor State University.

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