Illinois House to hold third gun ban bill hearing Tuesday


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (IRN) — One of the sponsors of an Illinois bill to ban certain semi-automatic guns and magazines of more than 10 rounds is listening to both sides of the argument.

Illinois state lawmakers will again hold a hearing on a bill to ban certain semi-automatic guns and magazines with more than 10 rounds during a hearing scheduled for Tuesday morning.

At last week’s hearing, Andrew Guadarrama spoke as an individual against the measure. He said laws already on the books, like the Firearm Owners ID card, are not being fully enforced.

“People that should have had their firearms ID card restrained have not and they’re still able to buy firearms and ammunition,” Guadarrama said.

In both the 2019 Henry Pratt warehouse shooting in Aurora and in this year’s Highland Park July 4th mass shooting, the suspects should have been prevented from having a gun per state law.

Others have said law-abiding gun owners shouldn’t be punished for the actions of “criminals and psychopaths.”

“The General Assembly needs to quit blaming gun owners and a heavily regulated industry for the acts of criminals and psychopaths,” Federal Firearms Licensees of Illinois President Dan Eldridge said. “Those violent offenders, and the State Police in the cases of Highland Park and Aurora, bear the burden of what took place.”

State Rep. LaShawn Ford, D-Chicago, who is one of the chief sponsors of the bill, said police have too much on their plate and that a gun ban will help.

“We’re asking the police to do so much, we’re putting so much burden on them, and so now they fall in the position of being at fault for something that the law could have changed and that’s what we want to do,” Ford told WMAY.

At Tuesday’s hearing for House Bill 5855, Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly is expected to testify.

Also last week, some testified that they may support banning certain types of guns, but they don’t support penalty enhancements that could disproportionately impact minority communities.

“For Black and brown communities who are over policed, we have more individuals who are susceptible to being swept up and are forgotten in the system,” Live Free Illinois lead organizer Artinese Myrick said.

Ford said he understands that concern.

“We don’t need to add more felons onto our records in Illinois,” Ford said. “That’s not a good look and I think that we have to find a balanced approach.”

Ford said to do that, lawmakers must ensure those who have certain items are “grandfathered” in.

“And we ban the sale of these, sell no more, and people must register their guns that they have already,” Ford said.

The proposal would require anyone in possession of any of around 100 firearms to register them with Illinois State Police within 300 days of the bill’s enactment.

“For the purpose of registration …, the Illinois State Police shall assess a registration fee of $25 per person to the owner of an assault weapon and $25 per person to the owner of a .50 caliber rifle,” the bill says. “If a person owns more than one assault weapon or more than one .50 caliber rifle, the person shall only pay one registration fee.”

The measure does not apply to police officers or others in the law enforcement sector, including security guards. Nor does it apply to a nonresident traveling from one place they “may lawfully possess and carry that weapon to any other place where the nonresident may lawfully possess” if the weapon is unloaded during transportation. There are other exemptions in the bill.

Violations of the measure range from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class 2 felony.

There doesn’t appear to be a registration process for magazines of more than 10 rounds the bill defines as “large capacity ammunition feeding devices.” The manufacture, delivery, sale, purchase or possession of such items would be unlawful.

While members of law enforcement, jailers, members of the armed services, and security officers are exempt, the bill states they are exempt “while performing their official duties or while traveling to or from their places of duty.”

“A person who knowingly delivers, sells, purchases, or causes to be delivered, sold, or purchased in violation of this Section a large capacity ammunition feeding device capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition commits a Class 3 felony for a first violation and a Class 2 felony for a second or subsequent violation or for delivery or possession of 2 or more of these devices at the same time,” the bill says. “Any other violation of this Section is a Class A misdemeanor.”

The hearing is set for 10 a.m. Tuesday. The public can view the hearing at the House’s Audio/Video page. Witness slips for the hearing as of Monday showed nearly 8,300 opposed and around 2,700 in support of the bill.

By GREG BISHOP for the Illinois Radio Network

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