The Illinois General Assembly is on recess until Tuesday, April 1, and while many threats to our Right to Keep and Bear Arms remain viable, the legislature has yet to make any substantive legislative advances on behalf of anti-gun extremists. This is in large part thanks to the efforts of the pro-gun community in Illinois! Your calls to your legislators in opposition to anti-gun legislation are making an impact. And on Tuesday, March 11, thousands of activists showed up in Springfield for Illinois Gun Owners Lobby Day (IGOLD) 2008, voicing and showing their opposition to anti-gun legislation. Attendees, which the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA) estimated at over 2,500, spent much of the day meeting with legislators to urge them to support the Second Amendment and oppose legislative efforts geared towards stripping away the rights of law-abiding gun owners in Illinois. Many bills remain a threat, but legislators clearly took note of the tremendous amount of opposition to anti-gun bills demonstrated by IGOLD participants. Thanks to all who were able to attend!
While legislators are on break, please continue contacting them to oppose legislative assaults on our firearm freedoms. Now would be an excellent time to try to schedule a face-to-face meeting in the district offices of your legislators, especially if you were unable to attend IGOLD 2008. Their contact information can be found here.
The following is a run-down of some of the bills that pose the most serious threat to the Second Amendment:
House Bill 731 would expand the current mandatory storage law and make it virtually impossible for law-abiding gun owners to store a firearm in a way that would leave it readily accessible for self-defense;
House Bill 758 would create a virtual ban on the private transfer of firearms;
House Bill 796 would create a new state-based licensing bureaucracy for firearm dealers;
House Bill 4259 would require all ammunition purchased and sold be encoded with a serial number. All ammunition not coded would be required to be disposed of by January 1, 2011;
House Bill 4357 would ban countless semi-automatic firearms and .50 cal. rifles and ammunition;
House Bill 4393 would place a limit on the number of handguns an individual may lawfully purchase;
House Bill 5191 would grant the Department of State Police broader authority to revoke a Firearm Owner's Identification Card (FOID Card) based on allegations that may not be supported by independent judicial findings, or "documented" cases where the FOID Card holder is unable to challenge or appeal the "documentation";
House Bill 5227 would require most law-abiding citizens who sell a handgun to another law-abiding citizen to include a trigger lock or other device "designed to prevent the handgun from being discharged" with the transfer;
Finally, Senate Bill 1007 would ban the manufacture, possession, delivery, sale, and purchase of standard capacity ammunition magazines capable of holding more than ten (10) cartridges. This bill is worded so broadly that it would also ban certain firearms, such as some Henry rifles, which have attached tubular magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds of ammunition. This lever-action rifle, whose design dates back to the 1860s, could be prohibited under SB 1007, making this bill far more than a magazine ban.
One piece of good news came, surprisingly, from the House Executive Committee. While this committee regularly reports out anti-gun legislation, it rejected House Bill 4259, an ammunition serialization/encoding bill. This is just one of several bills that seek to implement this new gun control scheme, and while all remain alive, technically, the vote this week in Executive Committee casts serious doubt on their future viability.