U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- HB5855 is a bill that heavily infringes on the right to arms protected by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America. Ironically, it is titled the “Protect Illinois Communities Act”.
The bill has been introduced into the Illinois House of Representatives by Representative Bob Morgan, (D) of the 58th District in Springfield, Illinois. Representative Morgan is a prolific introducer of bills. In 2022, he introduced 38 bills, none of which has moved beyond the introduction phase and passed to the House of Representatives. He introduced 36 bills in 2021, but again none of them passed the House. HB5855 was up for a committee hearing yesterday, December 12th at 11 a.m. While Morgan introduces lots of bills without success, this bill is being pushed in the media, which gives it a somewhat better chance.
Here is a brief summation of what the bill would put into law. From the bill:
Amends the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act. Eliminates provisions that permit a person under 21 years of age who is not an active duty member of the United States Armed Forces or the Illinois National Guard to obtain a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card with parental consent. Amends the Wildlife Code. Provides that when a person under 21 years of age is hunting under the supervision of a adult, the adult must possess a Firearm Owners Identification Card. Amends the Firearms Restraining Order Act. Provides that the State’s Attorney of the county where the petition is filed may act as a friend of the court in any action filed under the Act. Provides that a petitioner may request a one-year (rather than 6-month) firearms restraining order. Amends the Criminal Code of 2012.
The problematic parts of the bill are fairly clear:
- It bans the ownership and use of firearms by American residents who are 18, 19, and 20 years old, en mass. This is a novel infringement on their right to keep and bear arms.
- It bans the sale of dozens of commonly owned firearms and requires registration of those firearms currently owned in Illinois.
- It bans the future sales of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.
- It gives the State’s Attorney standing to file Firearms Restraining Orders (Red Flag Law). Such authority now only exists for a police officer and family members, and extends the duration of the ban on the individual exercise of the right to keep and bear arms from six months to a year.
Representative Morgan does not appear to understand the limits on government placed by the Second Amendment, as applied to the states by the Fourteenth Amendment.
The bill is only introduced. It has 30 sponsors, all Democrat, in the Illinois House of Representatives. There are 117 members of the House, so about 59 are needed to pass a bill. This many sponsors is a good start.
The more important question is: Does the House leadership support the bill?
Democrats have 72 of the seats in the House, Republicans have 45. In the Senate, Democrats have 41 seats, Republicans have 18 seats.
If the Democrat leadership wants to pass this bill, it will pass. The committee hearing on December 12 will provide a clue as to the prospects of the bill.
It is questionable if the Firearms Owner IDentification card (FOID) itself will withstand judicial scrutiny. The Illinois Supreme court has punted on ruling whether the FOID card passes Constitutional muster, twice.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.