Madigan sends the bill to a Committee with strong downstate presence, lets the bill pass giving his downstate conservative Members the ability to vote for it and then sits on the bill. Downstate Dems get to go back and say they sponsored or voted for the bill in committee, but they couldn’t get it to the floor, but they’ll keep working on it. Cross goes along because his downstate Members get the same opportunity and when the bill is killed, he doesn’t have to worry about his Chicago area Reps voting on it which would hurt them in a potential primary if they vote against it, but hurt them in the general for sure if they vote for it.
Madigan and Cross protect their Members. Members get to say they tried. Nothing changes. Repeat.
Sending these bills to a strong pro-gun committee instead of the ones where pro-gun bills go to die is a realistic claim in lieu of the way Illinois politics works. This would be more compelling though, if "Downstate Dems" didn't vote consistently with the firearm rights movement and the Chicago Machine voting the exact opposite.