by John Boch
A lot of groups are working to move Illinois into alignment with the majority of other states in allowing Illinois residents to purchase firearm suppressors and use them while hunting.
While there has been little progress on paper, in terms of advancing “mufflers for guns” legislation through committees and into successful floor votes, rest assured work is going on behind the scenes – and that we are making progress!
We need for Illinois gun owners to contact their Senators and Representatives and urge them to support making suppressors – basically mufflers for guns – legal in Illinois. 39 other states allow suppressors and frankly, there’s no go reason – other than Hollywood-fueled hysteria – to oppose them.
Some points you can mention:
* The are basically mufflers for guns. They don’t “silence” a gunshot any more than a muffler “silences” a car. Yes, some mufflers are better than others, but on guns, there is still a noise with each shot fired. The sound of gunfire is simply reduced to a manageable level that reduces complaints from neighbors and protects the hearing for hunters and hunting dogs. Prohibiting suppressor use on guns makes as much sense as prohibiting mufflers on cars and trucks.
* 39 states allow suppressors and 35 of those allow them for hunting. Every state surrounding Illinois, save Iowa, allows for civilian ownership of suppressors AND hunting with suppressed firearms. Haven’t heard of any problems with criminal misuse of suppressors in our neighboring states, now have you? That’s because criminal misuse is a non-issue!
* You can’t just waltz down to your local gun shop and buy one of these after work. You must fill out federal paperwork, AND pay a $200 tax stamp for each “can” (suppressor) AND wait nearly a year for the federal background investigation to be completed and the application approved.
* You must be legally eligible to own firearms to buy or possess a suppressor. Felons, gang-bangers, and violent criminals need not apply.
* You have to be a FOID cardholder to possess them in the proposed legislation.
Keep in mind that we – as gun owners – have a lot of momentum built in the past few years and the other side knows it.
We passed right-to-carry in Illinois, throwing our state’s backwards carry prohibition into history’s garbage can.
The anti-gun folks threw everything they had at blocking right-to-carry in Illinois and they lost big-time. They tried to exempt Chicago. They tried to make it “May Issue”. They tried to limit it to one gun and one ten-round magazine and no reloads. They tried to add gun registration. They tried to add a semi-auto ban. They tried to add in an arbitrary magazine capacity limit. They tried to allow for home rule exemptions. They tried to delay implementation. They lost on every one of these.
What’s more, they see a visible reminder of that drubbing each and every day when they see those “NO GUNS” signs on taxpayer-funded buildings.
They are fighting this bill not because there are public health and safety issues with suppressor legalization, but simply because they don’t like guns.
In short: Progress is being made, but it’s going to be close. We may not pass suppressor bills this year, but don’t take that as a huge setback.
Illinois’ Medical marijuana and same sex marriage bills were a lot more controversial and neither one of them were passed the first time through either. As with the marijuana bill and same sex marriage, we will – through public education – pass a bill to legalize suppressors in Illinois. It’s just a matter of will it happen this spring or later this year.