Yesterday, Prairie State gun owners took a beating in the Illinois General Assembly.
This bill now includes gun registration, a felony provision if you lose records of two or more transfers in past 10 years (or is this another bill?), gun rationing to nine transfers per year, universal background checks (aka no more private transfers), onerous open-ended burdensome regulations for dealers, and – as an added bonus! – higher prices for you, the consumer. l am sure there's more, but those are the highlights.
This bill would deprive gun owners of their due process rights by granting ex parte (meaning you don't get a chance to defend yourself) orders requiring a gun owner to surrender all firearms and ammunition. Actually, you don't surrender them… the government comes and seizes them. Then, within 10 days, you get to hire an attorney and fight to get your firearms rights restored. At your own expense. Just as traditional orders of protection are never abused, we're confident these will never be abused. But sponsor Kathleen Willis didn't want to put in language to sanction false or vexatious complainants.
72-Hour Waiting Period for ALL Firearm Transfers (SB3256) passed the House (Vote 72-44). Action expected in Senate today (assuming they haven't left town after passing the budget).
As if a one-day wait ever prevented a crime? Three days will somehow make it better?
So what the heck happened?
Already, the finger pointing has begun.
"Was the NRA even in Springfield?" Yes, since Monday. I was in Springfield myself on Tuesday and had a very productive breakfast meeting with him.
"I'm never giving to the NRA again!" Really? That's like saying you're never going to the doctor again because an infection returned.
You want a place to point your finger? How about the legislators who voted for this!
And why did they vote for it? Let's look a little deeper.
Why the push for gun control this year?
Two primary reasons.
#1: Hysteria: "We have to do something!" Between the Mandalay Bay attack last fall and the Parkland School massacre in Florida, a whole lot of suburban legislators heard from people in their world who think that we need to "do something" – anything – to reduce the potential for something horrific like this happening here.
#2: Mike Madigan's Sexual Harassment problems: #METOO. The leader of the Illinois Democrat Party has a #MeToo problem. Madigan has had MULTIPLE sexual harassment scandals in his office in just the past few years. And accusations that he's aggressively worked to cover up others. Then there's others like Senator Ira Silverstein who sent a hundreds of pages of sexy Facebook messages to an attractive, younger blonde female lobbyist. Sorry, Ira, you're not nearly as handsome as Bill Clinton. And not as effective at using your power to bed women. Voters rejected Silverstein during Illinois primary, deciding that 'sleazeball' is no resume enhancement.
And today, there's supposed to be an announcement of ANOTHER long-time sexual abuser that's a member of leadership. Given that Jeanne Ives will attend, I'm speculating that it's not Republican leadership that will be named. But if it is, so be it.
Passing gun control helps push the Michael Madigan's Sexual Harassment Scandals off the front pages. And Madigan has cracked the whip with Democrats. And we've got some Republicans who have been buffaloed into thinking they need to support "something" in order to keep their jobs.
Blaming the NRA, ISRA, GSL, Illinois Carry, FFL-IL, or Springfield Armory for this? I'd blame gun owner apathy long before I'd blame any of the aforementioned groups, including GSL. Blaming the people in the trenches, doing the fighting, is both counter-productive and illogical.
However, gun owner apathy towards politics has been around a long time. The two big changs this year are the hysteria and the sex harassment scandals.
What happens now?
1. Call the Governor. Ask him to veto Gun Dealer Licensing. The Governor will likely veto SB-337. This bill is worse than the first one he vetoed and the Governor will use this veto as red meat for conservatives in this upcoming election.
2. My Magic 8-ball says if the Senate passes SB-3256 by a large, veto-proof majority today, the governor takes no action and it becomes law after 60 days.
3. What happens with the Lethal Violence OPs? That's anyone's guess. When you call about SB-337, ask him to veto this bill as well. We shall see what the mood is in 60 days if the Governor vetoes this bill or allows it to become law without his signature.
4. I know that Guns Save Life and the NRA-ILA are working to identify some races where we can make an example of legislators who betrayed gun owners. This includes more than one Republican. We're single-issue and if we've got a Republican voting against us – especially one that campaigned as pro-gun and now stabs us in the back… Ditto for Democrats who have done the same. For races where we doubt we can tip the scales against our betrayer, we'll planning on making their races a little more competitive (and expensive). A little money on well-done messaging can go a long way.
In the coming day or three, we expect an update from John Weber, the NRA-ILA liaison in Illinois. In it, hopefully he will give a candid assessment of what happened and what's next from his perspective.
In the meantime, keep the faith. Encourage your friends, family and co-workers to become engaged if they aren't already. Also, before the election, contact some pro-gun candidates and offer to help their campaigns. Let them know why you're volunteering. This may involve making some phone calls, walking and knocking on doors, or helping to put out signs. Or holding informal tea parties for the candidate at your home. There's a lot of things you can do to help pro-gun candidates.
Sitting at home, brooding about yesterday's votes and telling the world you're not giving another dime to the NRA is exactly what the Michael Madigans and Michael Bloombergs of the world want you to do.