Today, Memorial Day, marks the final day of the Illinois General Assembly spring session. All business will have to be completed by midnight tonight (MAY 31) or it’ll likely have to wait until the fall veto session for consideration and then passage will require 60% of chamber(s) voting.
GOOD NEWS FIRST:
You may have heard about Kathleen Willis HB-1091 – the mandatory fingerprints for FOID cards bill. It passed the Illinois House with 60 votes – the bare minimum majority. If you have heard me deliver my Executive Director’s Reports at meetings across Illinois for the last few months, you know this isn’t a big surprise. We don’t have the votes in the Illinois House to block anything but the most over-the-top gun control measures.
From there, it headed to the Illinois Senate. The ISRA even put out an emergency email blast, however the bill was dead in the Senate upon arrival. Why? Because you need three readings on three separate days before the vote can be taken. Even if they go outside Illinois law and make an exemption for the first reading, Kathleen and crew are still a day late and a vote short of passage.
Furthermore, unlike the IL House, we have the votes in the Senate to block most gun control measures. And there’s no way GPAC, the gun grabber group in Springfield, has 60% in the Senate.
BAD NEWS NEXT
The rumor mill tells GSL that a deal has reportedly been struck between one gun rights organization and gun control proponents for a “fix the FOID” bill that would offer an option of voluntarily submitted fingerprints in exchange for a lifetime FOID card.
Problem is, the deal amends language found in Senate Amendment #1 of SB-1165 – language that we at Guns Save Life were neutral upon as it was originally introduced on March 25th.
The “deal” would double record-keeping to 20 years (from the current ten years) AND it would apply to purchases as well as sales (currently you only have to keep records for ten years on guns sold to private persons).
Even worse: lose your records on the sale or purchase of two guns and that becomes a felony.
The current portal that allows folks to verify the validity of a FOID prior to executing a private transfer would become a full-on FTIP query. While that’s no big, big deal, records would have to be retained for twenty years!
Despite my best efforts at researching this, I’ve not found a bill or an amendment that has this in writing. At the same time, we know that we’re in “special rules” now in terms of posting notices, etc. All the powers that be need is to drop the language into a shell bill and call it for a vote if it’s already had two readings.
Seems that GPAC has had more access to legislators than our pro-gun side in these negotiations. One person on our side likened the GPAC “negotiating” on the decent “fingerprints for FOID bill” (the original Senate Amendment 1 from March 25th) as them moving the goal posts.
And some fools on our side will remain neutral on the new language in exchange for goodwill from certain state departments for “playing nice.”
If this is indeed true, then can you trust them to handle gun rights lawsuits in a way that will truly benefit all gun owners in Illinois? That’s the question one well-known, soon-to-be former lobbyist is asking.
Unfortunately, the General Assembly is still operating under strict COVID restrictions that block lobbyists and constituents from the capitol complex. And the legislators we want to contact are laying low after hours. Go figure, right?
Furthermore, my efforts to contact the NRA-ILA lobbyist for IL have proven futile in the past couple of days. I wanted to confirm some things (including that NRA-ILA is NOT a part of this “deal.”) My calls have gone to voice mail and text messages have gone unreturned. I know the NRA is undergoing some massive upheaval, but when I talked to John Weber a couple of weeks ago, everything was rocking steady.
For the record, the gun rights org in question is NOT Illinois Carry.
If you have additional information about an amendment that would double the record-keeping time for sales AND purchases to/from private persons, please share in comments. I’ll be approving comments every hour or two today.