Second Amendment Legislative News

March 2019 Legislative Report

The Illinois legislature has been very busy in the last few weeks, successfully passing into law bill which raises the minimum wage in Illinois, and they are working on other legislation to increase taxes, legalize recreational use of cannabis and many other issues. Regarding firearms, SB 107, sponsored by Senator Julie Morrison (D-29), would brand many modern semi-automatic rifles, semi-automatic handguns, and shotguns commonly owned by law-abiding citizens as “assault weapons” and ban them along with spare parts and accessories.

Some examples to be banned include:

  • Any semi-automatic rifle or handgun that can accept a detachable magazine greater than ten rounds in capacity and has one or more features, such as a protruding grip for the support hand; a folding, telescoping, or thumbhole stock; a handguard; or a muzzle brake or compensator.
  • Any semi-automatic shotgun that has one or more feature such as the ability to accept a detachable magazine; a folding, telescoping, or thumbhole stock; or a protruding grip for the support hand.
  • Any fixed magazine semi-automatic rifles or handguns greater than ten rounds in capacity and fixed magazine semi-automatic shotguns greater than five rounds in capacity.
  • Any shotgun with a revolving cylinder.
  • Any part or accessory that would configure a firearm as above.
  • Any firearm listed here by name or their duplicates.
  • SB 107 would have limited exemptions, such as allowing those who lawfully own banned firearms prior to register and keep them.  This exemption would not extend to banned parts and accessories, so owners would not be able to keep spare parts and accessories to reconfigure their firearms for different uses.

Status: This bill has been assigned to the Judiciary Committee but there has been no action taken since January 31. Another much talked about proposal, this time from Representative Dan Didech, HB 888 amends the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act. It provides that the Department of State Police shall conduct a search of the purchasers' social media accounts available to the public to determine if there is any information that would disqualify the person from obtaining or require revocation of a currently valid Firearm Owner's Identification Card. Provides that each applicant for a Firearm Owner's Identification Card shall furnish to the Department of State Police a list of every social media account.  This bill was advanced to the Firearms and Firearms Safety Sub-committee on February 19th. 

These are just a few of the many new proposals in the 2019 Spring legislative session which attempt to curb our 2nd Amendment rights. Quite a few of them have been submitted several years in a row and always fail to gain traction for one reason or another. At the time of this update, early March, there is plenty of time for the legislature to get serious about some of these proposals before the session ends. 

The annual Illinois Gun Owners Lobby Day will be Wednesday March 27 at the Bank of Springfield (Convention Center). Doors open at 10:30 a.m. and the program will begin at 11:45 a.m. The keynote speaker will be David Keene, former NRA President. 

At the national level, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 8, a bill which would mandate Universal Background checks prior to selling someone a firearm, even private transactions. Prior to passing out of the House, an amendment was successfully added which requires ICE to be notified if an illegal immigrant fails to pass the background check when attempting to purchase a firearm. Most are confident the Senate will not pass this bill at this time. It should be noted Illinois already has such legislation. 

Pat Keen

ALGC Legislative Director