Senate Bill 903, sponsored by State Senators Martin Looney (D-11) and Toni Harp (D-10), was on the agenda for the Thursday, May 17 Public Safety and Security Committee meeting, but was not called for a vote, effectively killing the bill. Sources on the committee say that gun control advocates asked that the proposal be pulled due to a lack of votes. The bill would make it a crime to fail to report the loss or theft of a firearm to police within 72 hours of when you “discover or should have discovered” it missing. This proposal would also make it illegal to store your firearm in such a manner that would allow it to be stolen.
Under SB 903, when a law-abiding citizen does his civic duty in reporting the loss or theft of a firearm to police, he would immediately trigger an investigation into the manner in which the firearm was stored and expose himself to criminal prosecution. Under the provisions of this bill the police and prosecutors retain total discretion for what constitutes “safe storage.”
The problems for law-abiding gun owners who run afoul of the storage provision are compounded when multiple firearms are stolen -- as they now could fit the definition of a gun trafficker according to the language in this bill!
Today's victory may be short-lived, as it is fully expected that this language will reappear as an amendment to another bill as it has for the last several years. We will keep you apprised of the new bill number if the language from SB 903 is attached as an amendment to another proposal.