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Illinois gun makers ponder weapons ban response

CHICAGO – Illinois gun manufacturers are developing a strategy to address calls for a state assault weapons ban.

The owner of Geneseo-based ArmaLite tells Lee Enterprises newspapers in Illinois that the gun makers are considering possible action.

ArmaLite's Mark Westrom says there shouldn't be a rush to judgment following the shooting deaths of 20 children and six adults at a Connecticut elementary school. And he says the issue of semi-automatic weapons might better be addressed at the federal level than by Illinois lawmakers.

ArmaLite and several other gun manufacturers in western Illinois employ several hundred people.

In the past, gun makers have threatened to leave Illinois if an assault weapons ban were to be enacted. One manufacturer with about two dozen workers moved from Hillsdale to LeClaire, Iowa.

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