Pritzker tells NRA to ‘leave us the hell alone’ after mass shooting tweet

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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker told the National Rifle Association to leave his state the “hell alone” in response to the group tweeting about mass shootings occurring in gun free zones.

“And 100% of mass public shootings happen with guns,” the Illinois Democrat tweeted Tuesday night in response to data showing that “94% of mass public shootings occurred in gun-free zones.”

“As Governor, on behalf of the people of Highland Park — leave us the hell alone,” Pritzker said. 

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The initial NRA tweet contained a study from the Crime Prevention Research Center that compiled data from 88 mass public shootings from 1998 through May 2022.

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Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker greets spectators during the Chicago Pride Parade in Chicago, Sunday, June 26, 2022.

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker greets spectators during the Chicago Pride Parade in Chicago, Sunday, June 26, 2022.
(AP Photo/Jon Durr)

Pritzker has spoken out in favor of gun control in the days following a mass shooting at an Independence Day parade in Highland Park, Illinois that left seven people dead and dozens injured.

“Our Founders carried muskets, not assault weapons,” Pritzker said on Monday afternoon. “And I don’t think a single one of them would have said that you have a constitutional right to an assault weapon with a high capacity magazine, or that that is more important than the right of the people who attended this parade today to live.” 

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Both Chicago and Illinois are widely recognized as having some of the strictest gun control laws in the country already on the books.

Illinois overall received an “A-” grade from the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence for its annual gun law scorecard in 2021 and ranked eighth across the country for its tight gun control laws.

HIGHLAND PARK, IL - JULY 05: FBI agents work the scene of a shooting at a Fourth of July parade on July 5, 2022 in Highland Park, Illinois. Police have detained Robert "Bobby" E. Crimo III, 22, in connection with the shooting in which six people were killed and 19 injured, according to published reports. 

HIGHLAND PARK, IL – JULY 05: FBI agents work the scene of a shooting at a Fourth of July parade on July 5, 2022 in Highland Park, Illinois. Police have detained Robert “Bobby” E. Crimo III, 22, in connection with the shooting in which six people were killed and 19 injured, according to published reports. 
(Photo by Jim Vondruska/Getty Images)

Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence lauded Illinois for its universal background checks, extreme risk protection orders, open carry regulations and other restrictions, but called on the state to strengthen laws on firearm registrations, ban large capacity magazines and restrict “assault weapons” and bulk firearm purchases.

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Chicago has long been known as a city with some of the strictest gun laws, which stretches back to its ban on handguns in 1982. The Supreme Court struck down the ban in 2010, but the city has continued with other strict laws. 

The city has a ban on “assault weapons,” defined as “any weapon that shoots… automatically, more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger,” which includes automatic rifles and “ghost guns.” Large-capacity magazines are also banned in Cook County, which includes Chicago. 

Robert Crimo III, 21, was taken into police custody Monday evening.

Robert Crimo III, 21, was taken into police custody Monday evening.
(Katherine Rappel/Inset: Highland Park Police)

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Additionally, leaders of Highland Park banned “assault rifles” in 2013, including AR15s and AK47s.

The suspected Highland Park shooter, 21-year-old Robert “Bobby” E. Crimo III, was flagged by police as a “clear and present danger” in 2019 but was still able to pass four background checks between 2020 and 2021.

Pritzker’s office and the National Rifle Association did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.

Fox News’ Emma Colton contributed to this report

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