But stay tuned… because some these are pretty worrisome.

At least eight bills that should worry law abiding firearms owners have been introduced in Springfield this session pertaining to Illinois gun control. Passage of ANY of these bills would be harmful to lawful gun owners, but an understanding of the process, and where these bills are in the pipeline, is important. When it is really time to burn up your Representative’s or Senator’s phone lines, we will be spreading the word. But for now…

Bills must go through three “readings” on separate days in each body of the General Assembly:

  • the House or Senate clerk “reads” the bill into the record
  • the bill is assigned to the Rules Committee (House) or Assignments (Senate) for hearing
  • bills are again “read,” or mentioned by name/title in the record and debated in committee
  • if voted out of committee, they are “read” on the floor for vote
  • if approved, they go to the other governing body, where the process starts again

There are games that can be played with the calendar, but generally, there is a period of time required before debate and testimony in committee.

The Illinois General Assembly has an excellent system in place to publicize bills and their status. Click the bill number below for current status, sponsors (including links to their contact info), and full text of the bill. Here are the eight that we are watching (our titles):

Senate Bills

SB0089: Firearm Safety Device. Provides that any firearm sold or transferred in the State of IL by a federally licensed firearms dealer, or a private seller, including a private transfer through a firearms dealer, shall at the time of the sale or transfer of the firearm include or be accompanied by a firearm safety device.

Status: Sent to Committee; not on calendar for debate.

SB0121: State-wide Ammo Tax. Amends the State Finance Act to create the Community Mental Health Services Fund as a special fund in the State treasury. Provides that moneys in the Community Mental Health Services Fund shall be used to assist, support, and establish community-based mental health providers and programs. Amends the Use Tax Act, the Service Use Tax Act, the Service Occupation Tax Act, and the Retailers’ Occupation Tax Act. Imposes a surcharge of $0.01 per cartridge or shell on firearm ammunition.

Status: Sent to Committee; not on calendar for debate.

SB0107: Semi-auto ban.  Amends the Criminal Code of 2012. Makes it unlawful for any person to knowingly possess an “assault weapon” 300 days after the effective date of the amendatory Act, except possession of weapons registered with the Department of State Police in the time frame allotted.

Read the full text to see what they define as “Assault Weapon.”  Yikes!

Obviously this is one to watch closely; it would give owners of nearly every semi-auto rifle or pistol the choice of either registering their scary black rifles and evil semi-auto handguns, or having one’s property make them a felon.

Status: Sent to Committee; not on calendar for debate.

House Bills

HB1586Ammunition Serialization.  Rep Sonya Harper has brought this back again. Putting serial numbers on bullets and casings is just stupid; From NRA-ILA: Maryland imposed a similar program in 2000. In 2015, the state abandoned the scheme because even after 15 years, the system hadn’t solved even one single crime. In the meantime, Maryland had squandered $5 million on a pipe dream.

Rep Harper frequently trots out Matt Harrington, CEO of Ammo Coding Systems in Aurora. He, conveniently, holds a patent for a system for sale that is supposed to stamp serial numbers on ammo. His company’s website does not appear to be working, but you should feel free to drop in on their Facebook Page to learn more or tell them how much you appreciate their fine crime-fighting ideas!

Status: Sent to Rules Committee

HB1467: Ammunition Tracking. Amends the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act. Provides that on or after the effective date of the amendatory act, a person or place of business who sells ammunition to any person in this the state of Illinois shall maintain records for each transaction that includes the: (1) date of the transaction; (2) purchaser’s name and date of birth; (3) purchaser’s address; (4) purchaser’s Firearm Owner’s Identification Card information; and (5) ammunition amount, caliber, manufacturer’s name and serial number, or other distinguishing information. Requires the person or place of business to submit each record within 7 days of the transaction to the Department of State Police. Provides that each person or place or business shall have a record book maintained on the premises and made available for inspection by any law enforcement officer. Requires the Department of State Police to establish and maintain a searchable database which contains these ammunition records.

Once again, a legislator with no clue about how firearms work, or how lawful shooters behave decides to burden the Illinois State Police with this idea. Reminder: we had a contest on our Facebook page some time ago to guess the number of rounds pulled from the traps twice a year. It was over 2.2 MILLION rounds.

Status: Sent to Rules Committee

HB0174: Lost/Stolen firearms reporting. Amends the Criminal Code of 2012. Provides that the provision of the Code that makes it an offense for a person who possesses or acquires a firearm and thereafter loses the firearm, or if the firearm is stolen from the person, if they fail to report the loss or theft to the local law enforcement agency within 72 hours after obtaining knowledge of the loss or theft. This is a Class 4 felony for a third offense (rather than a Class A misdemeanor as it is now) and a Class 3 felony for a fourth or subsequent offense. Effective immediately.

Remember: felony conviction generally = loss of gun rights.

Status: Assigned to committee and scheduled for hearing.

Judiciary – Criminal Committee Hearing Feb 5 2019 3:00PM Capitol Building Room 118 Springfield, IL

HB0892: FIREARM DETECTION: Ghost Guns! Boo! Amends the Criminal Code of 2012. Provides that a person commits the offense of unlawful use of weapons when he knowingly sells, manufactures, purchases, possesses, or carries a firearm with: (1) a major component of which, if subjected to inspection by common metal detection devices, would not be detectable; or (2) a major component of which, if subjected to inspection by common imaging detection devices, would not generate an image that accurately depicts the shape of the component. Provides that this offense is a Class 2 felony. Creates exemptions.

This is already illegal, so….. who knows?

Status: 1st reading; assigned to Rules Committee

HB0899: Lost/Stolen. Amends the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act. Provides that the Department of State Police shall revoke for one year the Firearm Owner’s Identification Card of a card holder who reports to the local law enforcement agency his or her firearms lost or stolen in 3 separate incidents within a 2-year period.

So reading the plain language here, if you (or your home or place of business) are robbed three times with two years, you lose your FOID card for a year?

Status: 1st reading; assigned to Rules Committee

Again:

These bills all sound terrible for gun owners, and they would be if made law, but they are a long way from becoming law. FFL-IL, Springfield Armory, and the Illinois State Rifle Association all have professionals on the ground at the state capitol, staying on top of developments in regards to Illinois gun control. Your support and direct contact with *your* legislator will be very important in the future to keep these bills from becoming law. Stay tuned for more developments.