Illinois –-(Ammoland.com)- July 4, 2016. A day that brings family and friends together around barbecue grills and backyard pools across the Nation. A day that brings strangers together to witness the aerial reenactment of bombs bursting in air. The sound of muskets in the distance. Today, these are the awe inspiring fireworks we've come to associate with a day of festivities; 240 years ago they were the sights and sounds of the patriotism that became our Founders daily lives.
As you reflect back on the legacy those great men and women left us, reflect also on the legacy you leave each time you file a witness slip, make a phone call to your legislator, or cast a ballot. Recognize, too, that while the tools of your patriotism are not those of the past, your fight to protect our independence is as real today as it was then.
The Illinois Legislature concluded its Spring/Summer Session still contemplating several bills held over from the early Spring Session as well as some new proposals, both good and bad.
SB3076 IEMA Police Powers, a bill that would establish intrusive police powers within County Government, including access to gun ownership and licensing data, saw little activity in the second half of session but has had its deadline extended to December 31, 2016. Although your past efforts stopped progress on this in its tracks, it will continue to be a threat at least to the end of this year and possibly into early January, 2017.
Earlier reports of a gun dealer licensing bill were realized when Representative Kathleen Willis filed a series of amendments on HB1016 Safety Tech. Attempting to find any combination of gun control elements to throw into a bill has seemingly become her hobby, and this bill was no exception. After seven tries, the bill was referred back to the Rules Committee, hopefully to languish through the end of session. This proposal followed on the heals of Ms. Willis' HB3160 Lethal Violence Order of Protection which also, through your efforts, sits quietly in Rules.
Departing from these old forms of intrusive, punitive gun control, many legislators listened to the call to find common ground with IllinoisCarry, the Illinois State Rifle Association, and the NRA.
Representative of this emerging approach to actually solving problems of violence in Chicago, HB6303 Firearms Trafficking was passed by both houses, as amended by Senate Amendment 1. This bill is meant to aid law enforcement apprehend those persons illegally bringing firearms into Illinois while avoiding any impact on law abiding citizens. Senate Amendment 1 helped clarify this intent and, with its adoption, IllinoisCarry joined other gun rights groups in supporting the bill.
Similarly, HB6331 FOID Revoke Order of Protection was passed by both bodies and awaits the Governor's signature. This bill, amended by House Amendment 1, does not change the criteria upon which a FOID Card can be revoked, nor does it diminish any due process or privacy protections. It does make a FOID Card revoked by a court under existing law more easily retrieved. IllinoisCarry was neutral on this legislation.
Another neutral bill, SB2213 FOID Card Mental Disability, was passed after adoption of both Senate Amendment 1 and Senate Amendment 2. As with HB6331, no criteria for revocation were changed. Both of these bills simply aid law enforcement in ways consistent with the oft repeated call to “just enforce existing law”.
In the area of promoting our rights three bills remain viable. Our hope is to see additional movement on each of them in the Fall Veto Session.
The first, SB206 Criminal Law Tech (Suppressors), was passed out of the Senate and amended in the House to allow the legal possession of suppressors in Illinois. The bill, with House Amendment 2, has now been sent back the Senate which we hope will concur with the changes made in the House.
A bill designed to correct the Firearm Concealed Carry Act to allow military members stationed in Illinois to obtain a concealed carry license, SB553 Firearm Concealed Carry also includes language allowing concealed carry while hunting. This bill, as amended by Senate Amendment 2, has been sent to the House where we hope for a Fall vote.
Finally, SB2294 Switchblade Knife, could see renewed action during the Veto Session.
Going forward, rumors abound that Representative Willis and Senator Harmon hope to introduce legislation limiting firearm magazines in Illinois. Details are scarce but, in a clear sign that neither has embraced the concept of working jointly toward goals acceptable to all, both legislators are testing the waters for the possibility of passing this haggard form of gun control dredged up from years past.
We also expect to see the evolution of enhanced sentencing language to be inserted into SB3441 Violent Gun Offender Sentencing. Bills of this nature have been repeatedly offered through the years, failing each time because of their potential to further increase Illinois' prison population while offering no real solutions to the violence so prevalent in Chicago. IllinoisCarry has historically opposed all such bills and, while we remain open minded, we will expect that our prior calls for more emphasis on acts of true violence, and less on simple violations of time, place, and manner of possession of firearms will be heeded.
HB6588 FOID Card Revocation, filed at the end of session just prior to SB3441, seeks to address threats of terrorism in ways more closely respecting due process rights than similar Federal Legislation so much in the news of late. IllinoisCarry is closely monitoring this bill, which is still under review.
Your legislator needs to know you by face and by name so in the next few weeks, while this information is still fresh in all their minds, we urge you to contact your state legislator and discuss where you stand on these Second Amendment issues. If he/she is up for reelection and supports your rights, it is vital that you show up at their events and offer to help with their campaign. If he/she does not support your rights, contact their opponent and help that campaign. The more helpful you are to your legislator/candidate, the greater your voice is heard.
As we celebrate Independence Day we will remain vigilant to all threats to liberty, and ask that you do the same. It is our responsibility to continue the legacy left to us so many years ago. Working together, the legacy we leave will be as important as the legacy we inherited.
Join us at IllinoisCarry for continued updates and discussion.