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Illinois: House Amendment to Create Mandatory Jail Time for Victimless Crimes to be Considered as Early as Tomorrow

Monday, October 21, 2013

House Amendment 2 to Senate Bill 1342, filed by state Representative Michael Zalewski (D-23), is expected to be voted on during the veto session of the state legislature beginning tomorrow, October 22.  If passed and enacted into law, this amendment would create and impose harsh mandatory minimum felony penalties for individuals who carry or possess a firearm on any public street, alley or public lands:

  • An uncased, loaded long gun without having been issued a valid Firearm Owners Identification Card (FOID) card.
  • An uncased, unloaded long gun with readily accessible ammunition without having been issued a valid FOID card.
  • An uncased, loaded handgun or a handgun that has not been issued a valid license under the Concealed Carry Act without having been issued a valid FOID card.
  • An uncased, unloaded handgun with readily accessible ammunition without having been issued a valid FOID card.
  • An uncased, loaded handgun that has not been issued a valid license under the Concealed Carry Act.
  • An uncased, unloaded handgun with readily accessible ammunition without having been issued a valid license under the Concealed Carry Act. 

The first offense for any of the above violations would be punishable by 3 to 6 years imprisonment, and the second offense would punishable by 4 to 10 years imprisonment.  The Illinois State Police (ISP) have been delayed for months in issuing and renewing FOID cards.  Such a delay could leave an individual who is awaiting approval or renewal of their FOID card defenseless.

The broadly written language of Amendment 2 could ensnare unsuspecting and responsible citizens who simply choose to carry a firearm for self-defense.  Such legislation should focus on getting violent criminals and felons off of the streets, not those citizens merely interested in exercising their inherent right to self-defense. If enacted, Amendment 2 could also subject a new Illinois resident unfamiliar with the state’s draconian gun control laws carrying a firearm for self-defense, to a felony and a multi-year prison sentence.

Please contact your state Senator and Representative today, and urge them to oppose House Amendment 2 to SB 1342, and to instead focus legislation that deters felons and violent criminals instead of placing citizens who only wish to protect themselves and their families at risk for harsh criminal penalties.  Contact information for your state legislators can be found here.

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NRA ILA

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.