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Illinois: One Pro-Gun Bill Advances as Another Anti-Gun Bill Hangs in the Balance

Friday, April 3, 2009

Please Contact Your State Representative!

House Bill 182, which would amend the current Unlawful Use of Weapons (UUW) law, passed the House on Friday, April 3, by a vote of 72 to 45.  HB 182, introduced by pro-gun Representative John Bradley (D-117), would add “dwelling” to the list of exemptions in which a law-abiding citizen is restricted from carrying a firearm. 

While “abode” is currently one of the exempted areas, under Illinois law, “abode” is strictly interpreted to mean only your actual home, and applies only to those who live there.  By adding “dwelling,” the exemption is expanded to allow for situations such as visiting a family member’s home.  This legislation now moves to the Senate, so please contact your State Senator and urge him or her to support HB 182. 

Another victory for gun owners, House Bill 845, which should have been called the “Crime Victim Victimization Act,” drew only 49 votes, well short of the 60 needed to pass.  HB 845 sought to create penalties for individuals who have had their firearms stolen if they fail to report the theft in an arbitrarily determined time-frame. 

Under this bill if a law-abiding gun owner has a firearm stolen, and fails to report the theft “within 72 hours after obtaining knowledge of” the theft, HB 845 would add insult to injury by allowing the crime victim to be charged with committing a petty offense.  A second “offense” could lead to the crime victim losing his or her Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) card, thus losing his or her right to own ANY firearms.  In other words, as a crime victim, you will be treated the same as the criminal who stole your property if you fail to jump through this bureaucratic hoop in what the government considers to be a timely fashion.

In spite of the fact the bill received only 49 votes, because of a procedural rule, the bill was put on the Consideration Postponed list.  This means it can be brought back up at some point, as if the initial vote never happened. Please contact your State Representative and continue to urge him or her to oppose HB 845.

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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.