House Approves Self-Defense Exception to Gun Bans

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The Illinois House Wednesday approved legislation to help people who use guns in self-defense despite local bans on weapons.

The legislation was introduced in response to the case of a Wilmette man who shot a burglar and was briefly charged with violating the local law against owning handguns.

The measure says people charged with local gun violations can argue in court that their actions were justified by the need to defend themselves.

It would apply only to local gun charges and not state charges, such as assault or attempted murder.

The bill passed 86 to 25 and now goes to the state Senate. Critics say it would make it easier for people to use illegal weapons and escape punishment.