We promised to keep everyone up to date on HB-5855, the bill that would turn the vast majority of Illinois gun owners into felons the instant Governor signs it into law should it pass.
Here’s the latest:
In the first couple of weeks of December, passage of the HB-5855 gun control bill looked dead-nuts certain. JB Pritzker greased the skids, reportedly with millions of dollars to a PR firm to sell the bill to Land of Lincoln residents using mostly emotions and a little fear thrown in for good measure.
Then the well-oiled machine developed a misfire.
So what gives? Things started falling apart at the end of the second hearing in Chicago. A black man, living on the edge of Harvey, lambasted the committee members in general and the Black Caucus members in particular for proposing a bill that would take away that man’s ability to defend himself and his two daughters. He tore into them and publicly humiliated them.
He contrasted the reaction to a bunch of rich white people getting slaughtered in Highland Park while these same politicians have done nothing to stop the killing of “black and brown” every week in Chicago – for decades. And how their reaction was to disarm the law-abiding people like him instead of going after the gang members shooting up the city.
That man’s testimony, particularly as a black man living in the inner city, stung deeply. There weren’t supposed to be any opponents to the bill testifying and this guy got in front of them for the better part of twenty minutes, ripping the Black Caucus members in particular.
Slowly, the “rah rah” for gun control and HB-5855 among the Legislative Black Caucus seems to be turning into concerns that “over-policed communities” would suffer from this effort to “criminalize black and brown communities.”
Gee, if only someone had been beating that drum for many years now. Because, gun control is racist and has always impacted the poor and minorities more than the wealthy politicians of any race.
The first few days in January will tell the tale. Ordinarily I’d put my money on JB Pritzker, but I’m still learning. More experienced people think there’s a small chance the Black Caucus might defect and oppose the bill until some changes are made. We’ll see. We’re certainly doing our part behind the scenes to fracture the coalition of Democrat legislative caucuses behind this bill and hope to derail it. But hope, as they say, is a poor strategy.
Given the potential that the vast majority of gun owners will become felons if this passes, we’re working to have our legal challenges ready in January.
If passage of this bill doesn’t happen in the lame duck session, rest assured it will return in the spring for votes. Given how the new class of legislators will lean even further left, it will pass.
The upside for Governor Pritzker if it doesn’t happen in January is that he’ll be able to score media coverage by signing the bill on or near the anniversary of the Highland Park massacre. Perfect timing for his Presidential run.