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New Illinois law banning assault weapons, high-capacity magazines will have big impact on gun stores

“For some that I've talked to they said that's going to jeopardize their livelihood,” gun store manager Thomas Petrekovich said.

BELLEVILLE, Ill. — As of Tuesday night, gun stores in Illinois can no longer sell assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazines. The law banning them in Illinois went into effect immediately.

While stores cannot sell any more of the banned weapons or magazines, sales that are already pending will go through, but overall gun store owners said this will have a big impact on them.

The manager of Curt Smith’s Gun Store, in Belleville, Illinois, Thomas Petrekovich said the federal government classified a gun as an assault weapon by these three characteristics, which he does not agree with, he pistol grip, a bayonet lug and a flash hider.

He said some of the most popular guns will no longer be available for purchase.

“The AR-15 will be one. Then I assume it could be the AR-10, which are just a higher caliber of the same gun. I know shotguns with a removable magazine will be on that list. That's probably certain handguns,” Petrekovich said.

Petrekovich said the magazine limits are one of the biggest changes for gun owners.

“They're going to be limited to 10 rounds for the long guns and 15 rounds for the handguns. There are some handguns that have 20 rounds, 19 rounds. Now, will they make them replacement mag for that? I'm not sure,” Petrekovich said.

Under the new law, retailers can ship their current inventory and sell their remaining guns out of state.

But Petrekovich said he has heard from other store owners that will likely lose thousands of dollars no matter what happens.

“For some that I've talked to...they said that's going to jeopardize their livelihood,” Petrekovich said.

Groups such as Guns Save Life said they are going to fight the new law.

“We're going to be filing in court within hours of the governor's signature. We anticipate getting a temporary restraining order from a federal court judge, and we're going to block its implementation within a matter of days of the governor signing it into law,” Executive Director of Guns Save Life John Boch said.

Illinois residents who have these guns and can show they were purchased before the law went into effect will be able to keep them as long as they register them before next year with Illinois State Police.

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