Showdown on gun-purchasing restrictions looms in Springfield

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Democrats are gearing up for a showdown on gun-purchasing restrictions.

House leaders plan votes Wednesday on five measures to restrict firearms purchases and intervene on mental health issues.

The Judiciary-Criminal Committee endorsed each Tuesday evening on 8-5 partisan roll calls. Republicans and gun-rights advocates complain the proposals are rushed, poorly drafted and in some cases represent a constitutional overreach.

Democrats are responding to a Valentine’s Day massacre that killed 17 students at a Florida high school and the fatal shooting a day earlier of a police officer in Chicago.

They also sense the pressure of public frustration over continued killings as they prepare to face primary election voters in less than a month.