UPDATE: The Illinois Senate failed to act on the measures detailed below before adjourning Thursday night, according to the (Davenport, Iowa) Quad-City Times. The bills could resurface when the General Assembly reconvenes, though lawmakers are unsure of a timetable.
The State of Illinois is back to its same old anti-gun tricks, but if anti-gun legislators get their waythis time, it could mean the end of semi-automatic firearms in the Land of Lincoln.
According to Fox News, an Illinois Senate committee advanced two measures Wednesday that, if passed, would place major restrictions on semi-automatic firearms and high-capacity magazines.
The (Springfield, Ill.) State Journal-Register reports that the committee sent two bills to full chamber Wednesday night. The first, House Bill 1263, introduced by state Sen. Antonio MuÃ±oz, D-Chicago, would ban the sale, possession, delivery or transfer of semi-automatic handguns, rifles and shotguns, as well as pump-action shotguns. The committee also advanced House Bill 815, introduced by Sen. Dan Kotowski, D-Park Ridge, which would ban the possession and sale of high-capacity magazines, and would also impose heavy restrictions on Illinois gun ranges; the Illinois State Rifle Association reports the bill would require ranges to pay heavy fees, meet special staffing requirements, allow warrantless searches and unlimited, unannounced inspections.
Obviously, gun owners in Illinois — who just scored a major victory when the state's longtime concealed carry ban was deemed unconstitutional — are less than thrilled, to say the least.
"It's easy for politicians like Governor Pat Quinn to stand up and pound the lecturn while calling for the ban and confiscation of semi-automatic firearms," said the Illinois Rifle Association in a statement. "But Quinn and his ilk would do well to remember that there are 1.5 million firearm owners in Illinois. Of that 1.5 million, most own one or more firearms that would be banned under the knee-jerk proposals being floated post-Newtown."
NRA lobbyist Todd Vandermyde told Fox News the proposed legislation would restrict roughly 75 percent of handguns and 50 percent of rifles on the market, adding that he's "never seen a piece of legislation that tramples on so many court decisions."
Kotowski, however, says there's nothing to worry about.
"If you are a law-abiding gun owner, I don't know what you have to fear here," Kotowski said.
Really, Sen. Dan? You really don't know what there is to fear?
We know things are a little screwy north of Interstate 80, but the laws governing Chicago don't necessarily apply to cities and towns further downstate. In fact, we're not even sure they apply to Chicago. The only people this law would affect are law-abiding gun owners.
Think about it logically, Sen. Dan. Someone who obeys the law is, by definition, law-abiding. If a law passes that says semi-automatic firearms are no longer allowed, that gun owner will be forced to fork over the guns or go to jail. After that, the only people with guns will be the ones who held onto them anyway — criminals, whose likeliness of obeying the law is greater than the Cubs winning the World Series.
And that's really what's at stake here — and with any gun legislation, really. These anti-gun reforms are introduced under the guise of catching bad guys, but law-abiding citizens become collateral damage in the process. Rather than take rights away from ordinary citizens, shrug your shoulders and say, "Oh well," focus on more effective, constitutional ways to keep guns out of criminals' hands.