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Illinois: News Report for 2009 Legislative Session

Friday, March 13, 2009

Illinois Gun Owners Lobby Day (IGOLD) 2009 was another tremendous success.  Estimates on attendees in Springfield on Wednesday, March 11, range from 3,000 to over 5,000.  In spite of such an overwhelming turnout, or likely because of it, anti-gun legislators scrambled to move several anti-gun bills this week. 

House Bill 12, introduced by anti-gun State Representative Luis Arroyo (D-3), would limit law-abiding citizens to one handgun purchase in any 30-day period.  House Bill 165, introduced by anti-gun State Representative Edward Acevedo (D-2), is a ban on countless semi-automatic pistols, rifles, shotguns, standard-capacity ammunition feeding devices, .50 caliber rifles, and .50 caliber rifle ammunition.  House Bill 179, introduced by anti-gun State Representative Deborah Graham (D-78), would expand the mandatory firearm storage law.  House Bill 180, also by Representative Graham, would create a new Illinois bureaucratic requirement that federally licensed firearms dealers that sell handguns also be licensed with the State of Illinois.  All of these bills were rushed through the House Executive Committee on Wednesday, are now on the floor for consideration, and could be taken up any day.  Also on Wednesday, Senate Bill 1976, introduced by pro-gun State Senator John O. Jones (R-54), was held in the Senate Public Health Committee, effectively killing the bill.  SB 1976 sought to establish a Right-to-Carry Permit system for Illinois.  It can only be presumed that these moves were carefully orchestrated by anti-gun leadership in the House and Senate in an attempt to either discourage the thousands of pro-gun supporters attending IGOLD, or to detract from any positive media generated by thousands of activists showing up in Springfield to show their support of the Second Amendment.

The list of anti-gun bills that could pass has grown.  The bills mentioned above join House Bill 48, which seeks to eliminate virtually all private, lawful handgun transfers and House Bill 845, which would turn a law-abiding gun owner into a criminal if he or she fails to report the theft of a firearm within an arbitrarily determined amount of time.  It is imperative that you contact your State Representative and urge him or her to oppose all of these anti-gun bills.  Contact information can be found by clicking here.

On the positive side, the sponsor of House Bill 687, State Representative Kenneth Dunkin (D-5), has indicated he will make no effort to move his bill that would have required all Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) Card holders to carry a minimum of $1,000,000.00 in liability insurance to cover any potential damages resulting from negligent or willful acts involving the firearm’s use.

Also good for the pro-gun community are several pro-gun bills that are still very viable.  House Bill 172, introduced by pro-gun State Representative Randy Ramey (R-55), is a preemption bill that would prohibit municipalities, including home rule counties, from imposing gun control laws that are more restrictive than those passed by the state.  House Bill 173, introduced by pro-gun State Representative Brandon Phelps (D-118), would establish preemption on laws regulating the transportation of firearms.  House Bill 182, introduced by pro-gun State Representative John Bradley (D-117), would establish that it is not a violation of the unlawful use of weapons law for a law-biding gun owner to carry or possess his or her lawfully owned handgun within his or her dwelling.  House Bill 462, also by Phelps, is the sheriff-supported bill that would establish a Right to Carry permit system for Illinois. 

These four pro-gun bills are currently on the floor of the House, and could be taken up for consideration at any time.  Please contact your State Representative and urge him or her to support these critical pro-gun reforms.  Contact information can be found by clicking here.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.