By GREG BISHOP
The Center Square
It’s possible there could be changes to a proposed gun ban at the Illinois statehouse. Whether they advance is unclear.
House Bill 5855 would ban future sales of certain semi-automatic rifles, shotguns and pistols and require a registry of guns already legally purchased. The measure would also ban the possession of magazines over 10 rounds and prohibit anyone under 21 from getting a required Firearm Owner ID card, unless they’re in the military.
Gun-rights advocate Todd Vandermyde says they won’t negotiate despite hearing there could be amendments.
“They’re looking to modify the magazine limits,” Vandermyde told WMAY Wednesday. “We hear the number they’re kicking around now is 12. Not a big jump from 10 to 12. And we think that they’re having some discussions about the age limit stuff. I think reality is setting in with some people that they have constitutional issues with what they’re proposing.”
Vandermyde and others promise lawsuits will be filed challenging the various aspects of the proposed bill if it were to be approved and enacted.
Opposition continues to mount. Before the Christmas holiday, the Madison County Board voted to denounce House Bill 5855.
Madison County Board member Michael Turner explained his opposition to the statehouse proposal to ban certain guns. “There’s no evidence that that actually fixes or solves any problems, it’s just gonna turn regular people into felons in the state of Illinois which is going to lead to stripping people of their Second Amendment rights,” Turner said.
Vandermyde said similar stances are being made across the state.
“If you have county sheriffs saying ‘we’re not going to enforce this,’ prosecutors saying ‘we’re not going to prosecute this,’ how are they going to enforce this,” Vandermyde said.
Gun-control advocates say a gun ban is necessary for public safety. They plan continued events and other messaging campaigns urging lawmakers to approve more gun control laws.
“This legislative package includes many of the fundamental measures necessary to prevent gun violence in Illinois,” Alison Shih, counsel at Everytown for Gun Safety, said in a statement last month. “The package provides a holistic, multi-faceted approach to address gun violence as the public health crisis it is.”
Lawmakers returned to the capitol Wednesday. The final day of this term before bills expire is Jan. 10. A new General Assembly will be seated Jan. 11 when lawmakers would have to file new legislation for the new two-year term.
Associate Editor Greg Bishop reports on Illinois government and other issues for The Center Square. Bishop has years of award-winning broadcast experience and hosts the WMAY Morning Newsfeed out of Springfield.