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Illinois: Governor Abuses Amendatory Veto Powers to Propose Semi-Auto Ban

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Gov. Quinn uses a previously NRA-Backed Ammunition Purchase Reform Bill as Vehicle for Gun Ban

Yesterday, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (D) vetoed the NRA-backed ammunition purchase reform bill, Senate Bill 681, after this common sense legislation had passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in the Illinois legislature (previously reported on here).   In a crass attempt to exploit the recent tragedy in Colorado and seek media attention, Quinn used his Amendatory Veto powers in a foolhardy attempt to impose more draconian gun control in Illinois.  Quinn rewrote the entire bill as an amendment to the Illinois Criminal Code that includes an onerous ban on the manufacture, possession, delivery or sale of commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms (inaccurately referred to as “assault weapons”), .50 caliber rifles and cartridges and “high capacity” magazines in Illinois.  Quinn’s amendment additionally tramples on the rights of Illinois citizens by creating a de facto statewide registration scheme for currently-owned firearms and magazines.

If this amendment is accepted by the Illinois General Assembly, law-abiding citizens in Illinois will be subjected to restrictions far beyond the scope of even the misguided Clinton Federal  “Assault Weapons“ Ban that expired in 2004 and any other in existence in the country today.  The repercussions of such a gun ban would be disastrous.   As demonstrated by the failure of the assault weapon ban of 1994-2004 to produce the crime-reducing results proponents claimed it would, Quinn’s ban would do nothing to increase safety in Illinois and would only further restrict the rights of already law-abiding citizens throughout the state.

 Using the well-worn anti-gun tactic of confusion, by conflating certain popular semi-automatic firearms with machine guns by using the term “assault weapon,” this legislation targets many of the most popular guns used for hunting and competition, as well as many models and magazines (those that hold more than ten rounds) used for self-defense.   Banned items would include many familiar and popular firearms, such as: 

  • Turkey hunting shotguns with pistol grips, like the Benelli Super Black Eagle II;
  • Plinking and target rifles with thumbhole stocks, as often seen on customized Ruger 10/22s;
  • High-power target rifles -- even including the 1994-2004 versions of rifles like the M1A and AR-15 that were made to comply with the now-expired federal ban -- because all of those rifles had handguards that “encircle” the barrel;
  • Any detachable-magazine semi-automatic rifle with even a partial handguard, potentially including common hunting rifles like the popular Remington 740/7400 series, Browning BAR, and  many more like them.

This gun ban would even apply to the individual parts themselves (stocks, pistol grips, handguards, folding or telescoping stocks, etc).  Possession, manufacture, delivery or sale of any of these items would be a felony.

Worse yet, this amended bill would impose a massive statewide gun registration scheme.  Anyone who already possesses one of the banned guns or parts would have to provide proof of ownership and register each one with the State Police within ninety days of the effective date.  This registration requirement spans from the firearm itself to individual parts and magazines that fall under the ban.

Governor Quinn and his band of anti-gun Chicago politicians would like to see their vicious attack on the Second Amendment play out across Illinois, even as Chicago—with the state’s most restrictive gun laws—is on track to tally more than 500 murders this year.

 The repercussions of such a gun ban would actually be just the opposite of what proponents claim and the results would be disastrous.  Firearms manufacturing is estimated to be a $250 million dollar industry in Illinois.  Not only would this gun ban be devastating to law-abiding citizens in Illinois, it also would wreak havoc on an entire industry, killing jobs and driving a healthy contributor to the Illinois economy out of state.  This legislation in no way promotes the safety or well-being of Illinois citizens, but is merely another attempt by gun-hating Chicago politicians to use misinformation to push draconian gun bans that will only affect gun owners, sportsmen and law-abiding citizens concerned about self-defense.

Your Action Is Needed!  The Illinois General Assembly will reconvene on August 17th for their special session, and could vote on the Governor's amendment to Senate Bill 681.  Contact your state legislators TODAY and demand they oppose the Governor’s gun ban!

Contact information for all state legislators can be found by clicking here.


Your NRA-ILA will continue to keep you updated on this and other Second Amendment-related legislation in Illinois.




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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.