(The Center Square) – Democrats and gun control groups are aiming to ban certain types of weapons in Illinois. A gun store owner says if that happens, they’ll file a lawsuit immediately.
Lawmakers aren’t back until after the new year, but there is already an effort to ban the sale of semi-automatic firearms and certain types of magazines.
A plan by state Rep. Bob Morgan, D-Deerfield, could come up as early as next month in the new legislature when a simple majority is all that’s needed for an immediate effective date.
“It’s time for Illinois to ban assault weapons,” Morgan said on Twitter announcing House Bill 5855. “Since the [July 4, 2022 Highland Park] mass shooting, I’ve spent months meeting with victims, policy experts, community leaders and more. Thanks to their feedback and perspectives, I’m confident that this comprehensive approach gets at the root of the gun violence epidemic and will save lives.”
The measure does various things, including defining “assault weapon” to include a variety of semi-automatic pistols, shotguns and rifles. It also defines “large capacity ammunition feeding devices” as “more than 10 rounds.”
If passed and signed by the governor, the prohibition on certain types of magazines could go into effect immediately. A future date would be set for owners of certain types of guns to register them with state police. All future sales would be prohibited.
Dan Eldridge, with the gun dealers’ association Federal Firearms Licensees of Illinois, said that would make many Illinoisans across the state criminals overnight.
“I would say it’s somewhere between two and 10 million magazines, and it’s a massive impact,” Eldridge told The Center Square. “These are the standard magazines that come with a duty-sized pistol even, they’re the standard magazines that come with a rifle. These are not aftermarket extended capacity magazines.
If the measure becomes law, expect a lawsuit, Eldridge said.
“With an immediate effective date, mere possession of a, and I’m not going to use their words, I’m going to use accurate words, mere possession of a standard-capacity magazine is a crime. There’s no getting around that. So you’ve got Second Amendment issues. You’ve got Fourth Amendment issues. You’ve got Fourteenth Amendment issues. You can’t do this.”
Lawmakers return just before the start of the new General Assembly on Jan. 11, when a simple majority is all that’s needed for new laws to have an immediate effective date.