For those readers not familiar with Illinois, it's really two states: one that is basically Chicago/Cook County and its collar counties (mostly "left leaning"), the other is roughly everything south of I-80 (mostly "right leaning") which is typically labeled as "downstate". Of course, this is a generalization as we know there are pockets of liberalism in "downstate" (Champaign County, for instance) and vice-versa. Further, there are some "liberals" who own firearm as well....so lets not get too wrapped up in the labels.
Sadly, the population of Cook County, etc. is enough that the entire remainder of the state can think one way and get overruled in an election. The last Gubernatorial race found a few more pockets in support of the democratic candidate as people were rightfully fed up with Gov. Rauner's ineffectiveness.
Those of us in "downstate" IL knew that the relatively stable, though not ideal, situation for firearms ownership would take a negative turn when Gov. J.B. Pritzker was elected. As it turns out, we underestimated the slope of that downward curve and how quickly the Chicago pols would act.
Yeah, they're swinging for the fences.
First, they held a bill that they knew Gov. Rauner would veto and passed it off to new Gov. Pritsker shortly after being seated. Seems like dirty pool to me but I'm no expert on that stuff, I expect it to be challenged in court.
This bill was signed and has now become Public Act 100-1178, it requires state level licensing of firearms dealers and includes licensing fees, video camera requirements (video of all doors, all inventory, as well as all transactions....), video storage requirements (90 days minimum), inspection requirements, and so on. Video storage can get expensive in a hurry, just ask any number of small police departments that can't afford to store body cam footage.
Besides all that, the BATFE already controls firearms dealers at the federal level and we know that criminals with records don't go to gun shops to buy their firearms. According to the DOJ stats published on the same day this bill was signed, only 1.9% of criminals in possession of a gun claim to have purchased it in a retail location.
Next they dropped SB 0107 in our laps. This is the typical "assault weapons" ban and includes your choice of registration or confiscation of existing firearms that fit their language. No surprises here except for not having a grandfather clause.
A day or two later, we see HB0888 arrive. This is a bill that requires you to turn over info for your social media accounts when you apply for a new FOID or attempt to renew it. I can understand how some people might think this is a good thing, but folks....due process. If someone is doing things on one of the social media networks that makes you raise an eyebrow, I get it. But until they're prosecuted of a crime I don't see how the state could use this against them but they'll certainly try using it for Red Flag purposes.
My personal favorite (so far) is the newly released HB1467. Wondering what's in this gem? Read on.
A retailer will be required to do the following for an AMMUNITION sale.
Record the following info:
1. Date of transaction
2. Purchaser's name, address, DOB
3. Purchaser's FOID information
4. Amount of ammunition, caliber, manufacturer's name and serial number or other identifying info
5. Requires the retailer to send all of this to the IL State Police within 7 days of the sale of ammunition.
6. Retailer must keep a log book of ammunition sales, available for inspection by law enforcement
The bill also requires the IL State Police to establish and maintain a searchable database which contains these ammunition records.
Sooo, since that pesky U.S. Constitution makes it unlawful for the state to have a database of firearm sales...they'll just record ammunition sales and then deduce who-owns-what to some degree. To be clear, they do know when a firearm is sold at retail but only that it is a handgun or long gun.
Edit 1/31/19 to add a new bill introduced late yesterday:
HB1586 may be tied for my favorite now....this atrocity will require all handgun ammunition to be serialized. If you possess un-serialized ammunition that was previously owned or was purchased from a sane state...too bad. Also creates a registry of serial numbers from an ammunition sale, so obviously this goes along with HB1467 above.
Those of us closer to Kentucky than Chicago tend to be of the mindset that these things won't affect us much but you need to wake up and realize that this will affect you. They aren't playing around. There is a Democratic super-majority in both houses and a new leftist sitting in the Governor's chair, it's going to be tough and you need to get involved. In my opinion, complacency is consent and those who roll over are just as much to blame as those who bring this mess to the table.
How can you help? Stay with me....
Get off of your rear, get on the phone, send a letter, or an email, file witness slips for these bills, wear these elected officials out with communication. You can find the contact info for your elected officials here, just click on Members and follow your nose.
If you've never filed Witness slips before, see IllinoisCarry.com (link on the right) for instructions. Lots of good folks there to help you out.
Attend IGOLD on March 27 (there's time to plan) and get to Springfield any other time you can. Yes, even if you don't agree with everything that the ISRA does, now is no time to divide ourselves
If you're a Sheriff reading this by some strange luck, I ask that you tell the ILGA that you won't assist with enforcing this attack on honest folks if it does manage to become law.
County boards? Pass a line in your budget barring county funds from being spent on enforcement of this tripe. Help us find a way.
If you're one of the legislators that have brought these bills forward or support them, please reconsider. These actions will do nothing more than hurt the people that already follow laws, not those who are actually doing harm.