Yesterday marked the third and final kangaroo court legislative hearing on HB-5855.  While a blind man sees the elephant a little differently based upon what he feels, here was my takeaway upon reading the event summary from someone who was there yesterday…  “Chairman” Slaughter (appropriately named for what happens to “black and brown people” in his district) said, from the chair, “what we don’t want to hear about is the right on the second amendment.”

There you have it folks.  At least when it comes to guns, Chairman Slaughter doesn’t don’t give a damn about your rights.

Again, thanks to a nicely done written summary of yesterday’s event, submitted onto reddit by a well-dressed man who was there (I don’t have permission to share his name), we get an insight into the circus of yesterday.  At least at this week’s carnival sideshow, they allowed opponents of 5855 to speak.  

Once again, our side is making inroads at increasing fissures in the coalition within the Democrat party pushing this bill.  Will they be enough?  Time will tell.

I spoke with a couple of those who testified yesterday.

First, the NRA’s rep was constrained on what he could say.  Oh, he wanted to say more, but he didn’t want to give Rep. Wang (who will be leaving the GA in about two weeks) any video to go viral with from that hearing.  I’d say he succeeded there.  I know it wasn’t what our side wanted to hear from the big dog NRA group, but why get into a rhetorical boxing match with intellectual lightweight crackpot who is in her final days.

Todd was, well, exceptional.  As usual.  There’s a reason I penned a story titled, “In Todd We Trust” many years ago.

Here’s Todd’s first-blush thoughts on yesterday.

Todd looks like he’s getting ready to play a real-life Santa.  Unlike when I first met him about a hundred years ago at an ISRA annual meeting, he didn’t have much, if any, gray hair.

By the way, this is Guns Save Life’s 30th year in existence.  It doesn’t seem like we’ve been doing this stuff for that long.  I’ve been involved for probably 28 of those years.

Anyway, back to the summary.  Here’s a big chunk of it from Reddit.  I’d recommend reading the follow-on comments.  Some are very good.

Well, this is it. As promised, here are notes I made of the 12/20/22 Judicial Committee Meeting that was discussing HB5855. This was a long way coming. I have been at the three meetings that were planned for 2022. It is unknown if there are going to be additional meetings for 2023, as Chairman Slaughter said that this is it for the year. If you spoke, post below what you said.

Meeting notes to 12/12/2022 can be found here.

Meeting notes to 12/15/2022 can be found here.

Grab your drinks and popcorn. This is a long one.

HB5855 Meeting Notes on December 20th, 2022.

Location: 60 North LaSalle Street. Chicago, IL 60601-3102

  • I arrive at 10:10 AM.

  • 10:27 AM – Meeting has begun. Chairman Justin Slaughter leads the meeting. Illinois Minority leader Representative Tony McCombie is attending the meeting.

  • NOTE: The meeting room is the most packed of the three meetings. There is also the most press attending of the three meetings.

  • 10:31 AM- There will be five panels discussing the bill today. Chairman Slaughter has stated that people will be limited to 5 minutes. It should be noted that there were no time limits for people testifying for support of the bill.

  • 10:32 AM – Bill sponsor Bob Morgan speaks. “Just after 24 hours of the last meeting, there was a high school where 4 students were shot.” Requesting a moment of silence for the two kids killed.

  • 10:35 AM – First panel goes up. Chairman Slaughter makes comments commending law enforcement for their duties. Illinois State Police (ISP) Director Morgan Kelly starts speaking.

  • 10:36 AM – Illinois State Police Director Brendan F. Kelly brings up the acts of ISP being involved on FOID, CCL, FRO, and other measures they are responsible for. “We are also moving away from Bureaucracy and more on enforcement. In 2021, 11,000 FOIDS were denied or revoked. 300k applied for FOID in 2022, and 1500 were denied and revoked. We have revised our rules with Clear and Present Danger (this was done after the July 4th Highland Park shooting).” “Our strategic focus has been more on enforcement. We focus on gun trafficking. We’re also seeing numbers going up in participation of law enforcement putting entries on gun trafficking. There has been more expansion on police agencies screening FOID applications. ISP has been very involved in the Firearm Restraining Order.” “As of December 2022 there have been 120 FROs since enactment.” “We have 102 counties across the state doing their own process of FRO, and this bill will help consolidate the process. State Attorneys have a due process to be involved in this process, to make sure this process is not abused.” “Extension from 6 months to a year comes from research and recommendations of that finding.”

  • 10:47 AM –Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart speaks on the Bill. Has been a sheriff for 16 years. “Its never been this bad.” “Before you wouldn’t encounter guns. Now it’s the exception. Everybody has guns.” “The lethality is absolutely stunning.” “We are entering homes and stores where the weapons are the most lethal they’ve ever been, and it’s getting worse. Assault weapons? Up. The amount of switches? Up.” “This is horrific. This is why I am so excited to be here.” The sheriff brings up photos of weapons of sheriffs reporting to evictions, and home monitoring. He also brings a drum magazine, which looks to be for a handgun.

  • 10:51 AM – “100 years from now, if they look at this era and the violence of children, they’re gonna look back and its not going to be kind.” “People who make up fantasies of why these (drums magazines, SAR’s) are okay in society are lying.” “I cannot wait for this bill to pass. It cannot be quick enough.”

  • 10:52 AM – Crowd claps.


  • 10:52AM – Susan Lee, Deputy Mayor of Public Safety also speaks. She is thanking Lori Lightfoot for her work on work on enforcement on gun trafficking. “18 years ago, the AWB ended, and now our streets are flooded with weapons of war.” “These weapons are not designed for hunting” “See, assault weapons are designed to inflict massive tissue damage in short amount of time. There is no reason someone should have that much ammunition.” “Here in Chicago, these weapons continue to cause multi-generation damage and trauma. Gun violence is not new to Chicago, and has been proliferated to Assault-style weapons” “Law enforcement in Chicago seized more assault weapons that NYC and LA combined” “This year, CPD has seized 1,156 assault weapons” “Assault weapons are a threat to police officers. They face people with assault weapons, while police are given standard issue pistols. It should be noted that police vehicles are equipped with burst M4’s.

  • 10:58 AM – Deputy Mayor of Public Safety: “It is unconscionable that we as a state give 18 and 19 year old’s the ability to purchase weapons of war. We know children do not have brains developed at that age.” Note: she called legal adults children.

  • 10:59 AM – “Chicago’s gun violence is intertwined with access to assault weapons” “Lori Lightfoot also requests the ban to high capacity magazines and barrel loaders.” Brings up if Jewish people should live under fear of attack. “This must be our North Star. This bill will ensure peace and safety for everyone”

  • 11:00 AM – Crowd claps

  • 11:01 AM – Angel Valdez, a Chicago Police Officer speaks. “We are talking about sense of safety and security among our lives.” “17 years ago today, my life changed. I was shot, and while the firearm was not an assault weapon, it was in the hands of someone who shouldn’t have had arms. I shiver to think if the person had an assault weapon.” “Since 2004, the department has recovered 18,116 assault type weapons.” Over 24,000 guns recovered are expected in the last two years. “I worry about the police’s wellbeing, their morale.” “Banning assault weapons is a must, but only a part of a solution. We cannot stop there. We have to punish manufactures as well.”

  • 11:06 AM – Crowd claps. Chairman Slaughter thanks the officer for laying his life. “The trafficking issue is something I am personally interested in hearing” Chairman Slaughter states. “Could you touch on efforts in regards to combatting trafficking issue?”

  • 11:07 AM – Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart speaks on the question above. “Its difficult to tackle.” “I can just tell you the record keeping process set up on purpose by the [ATF] makes it very difficult.” “We try to charge people who don’t report lost or stolen guns, but those are not serious charges.”

  • 11:11 AM – ISP Director Brendan Kelly speaks on trafficking. “A large chunk of that are stolen firearms.”

  • 11:13 AM – Deputy Mayor of Public Safety speaks on saying “There are no gun stores in Chicago. Guns commonly come from the rest of the state, and must be a cohesive effort to broaden the AWB from Chicago to the state.”

  • 11:14 AM – Representative McCombie, Republican House Minority in Illinois speaks. She inquires about switches.

  • CPD officer speaks and replies, “It’s a terrible to tool to make weapons more dangerous” McCombie asks, “But aren’t they banned by federal law?” CPD says yes. McCombie states “So this bill won’t do anything about the current issue.”

  • 11:15 AM- “What do you recommend we do about the crimes when its federally illegal?” McCombie asks.

  • 11:16 AM – CPD officer suggests there be punishments for state level on top of the already present federal level. McCombie doesn’t seem to accept this statement.

  • 11:17 AM – “Gun trafficking is already illegal today, correct?” McCombie asks. Deputy of Public Safety confirms so.

  • 11:18 AM – “How is this bill going to address the issues you are currently having with criminals trafficking to this day?” Deputy of Public Safety responds “This bill will make FOID owners not allowed to buy or own assault weapons.” “This bill is meant to limit the opportunity for guns to be stolen by limiting legal ownership.” Says CPD officer. “This bill limits access to ownership”

  • 11:21 AM – McCombie asks “Does this bill have safe storage laws?” . CPD says no.

  • 11:21 AM – You will have added responsibility if this bill passes” McCombie asks ISP Director. “Will you have the resources and manpower to enforce this bill?”

  • 11:22 AM – ISP Director says that “Sworn officers will be required to enforce the law. No guarantee but can ask for more funds. I think as far as resources to do this job, when there is a new firearm safety process, anytime there is implementation we need the language to get procurement and resources needed, as well as technology and personnel.” “We are well into statutory timeframe to process FOID and CCL now.” It should be noted they were not during the COVID-19 lockdowns or during protesting in 2020.

  • 11:24 AM- McCombie: “Do you have any idea what the cost would be at this point?” ISP Director Kelly replies: “Software will cost 500k to implement. Additional resources in terms of sworn headcount, we have the required amount.”

  • 11:25 AM – McCombie: “I assume there are hundreds of thousands of firearms owned by legal owners. How will you enforce compliance?” ISP: “We will be looking to have kiosks and stations for people to register their arms.”

  • 11:27: McCombie states “Your resources that you have today, will that be utilized to be used against high people personnel, or people in social media? How will you assure those people won’t be targeted” ISP Director Kelly replies: “We have to adhere to the constitution. They are protected under the first amendment It is the most important value that we adhere to.”

  • 11:29 AM – McCombie: “My question when looking at statistics. Do you believe will increase the prison population? There are people jailed for possession of arms. This affects black and brown men 25-35. Do you see this bill affecting them? ISP Director: “I don’t know the answer to that question. We will have to wait for data some years later.”

  • 11:31 AM- McCombie: “Is this bill going to stop criminals or mentally insane from committing destruction?”

  • Cook County Sheriff states “Criminals know the law. They know enhancements will be a deterrent” McCombie reiterates “So are you saying criminals will stop because of these enhancements?” Cook county sheriff says “Absolutely so”

  • 11:32 AM – “No further questions.” States McCombie.

  • 11:33 AM – “6 rounds of 9mm is standard capacity for Glocks.” states Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart.

  • 11:33 AM- ISP Director Kelly goes against Tom Darts statement, and states that police are standard issued Glocks with 15 round capacities, often carrying 3 magazines.

  • 11:35AM – Representative Ford speaks. “We are listening to people on both sides on this issue” “This bill as I read it, the intent is to ban the sale, and not the ban the weapon.”

  • 11:36 AM – Representative speaks virtually. Couldn’t get the name. “Could you talk more in details in the Clear and Present Danger?” ISP Director Kelly replies, “The Clear and Present Danger process is meant for schools or doctors to report people who are a danger to the ISP. This is to revoke applications or FOID card. The FRO can be filed by law enforcement and also families. The FRO and Clear and Present Danger are different. We have not built the substantial due process for FRO.”

  • 11:40 AM – Representative Reich speaks with concerns with FRO. “If we are going to have a commission on FRO, why is it there is a portion of the bill that extends the term when we haven’t had discussions on why we should do so.” “There were negotiations where it was proposed for several years, and some wanted it 3 months. I believe having an automatic extension without discussion is not right.” “[Representative Bob Morgan,] Why is it we’re taking something regarding possession and use of certain firearms and adding this into the bill?”

  • 11:43 AM- Representative Bob Morgan says that it was based on recommendations from the Judicial Commission.

  • 11:45 AM – Representative Reich says “Since FROs are a civil matter, and State Attorneys are dealing with criminal matter, I don’t think attorneys should have that role.”

  • 11:46AM – “This is extensive conversation that happens with FRO commission. Since State Attorneys deal with Domestic Violence, they should be able to assist those who wish to file FRO.” replies Bob Morgan.

  • 11:47 AM – Representative Reich speaks in opposition of the bill. Saying it’s the human factor and mental health that needs to be focused on more. “We are establishing chimneys when we need to look into the root cause of the issue.” “Not only are you taking firearms out of people who are allowed to, but also taking away firearms that is a constitutional rights to the people”

  • 11:48 AM – Representative Denyse Strongback speaks. “My first question to Director Kelly, you stated to be in support of FRO, could you elaborate on the process, the FRO commission, and how its done?”

  • 11:50AM – ISP Director responds, “I think there will need to be additional resources on expanding this process. Getting process to streamline when someone reports that someone should not have firearms.” “Its an ongoing process, and hope we will be bringing more language to get into detail on the laws.” Director will bring more language to make FRO more robust.

  • 11:52 AM – Representative Strongback mentions grants that will fund 5.5 million dollars towards the FRO.

  • 11:53 AM – First panel concludes. Crowd claps.

  • 11:56 AM – Everytown for Gun Safety Representative speaks. “Illinois has the strongest gun laws in the country. However we experience gun violence higher than the national average” “We need laws to control guns in the street, and that is what this bill will do.” Goes on about high velocity rounds, rate of fire. You’ve heard it before. “These weapons have no place in civilians hands” “California was the first, and their laws have been in place for 30 years.” “Currently, nearly a quarter of the US population lives in a city banning assault weapons.” “Research has shown lower magazine capacity can save lives” “This bill will make Illinois the 13th state to regulate of high capacity magazines.” “Firearms are the leading cause of death for 18-20 year olds” “In 2021, only 38 petitions for FRO were filed. Compared to Maryland here 760 petitions were made.”

  • 12:03 PM – Crowd claps.

  • 12:03 PM – A representative from Brady, a Gun Control group speaks. “HB5855 gives Illinois the power to investigate gun trafficking. This is a needed and important measure.” “There is no legal or federal crime for gun trafficking” “Empowering ISP to investigate gun trafficking, should help US attorneys prosecute gun traffickers. ATF shows guns used in crime are likely trafficked. 43% were sold less than 3 years prior.” “With recent surge during pandemic, we need to prevent further crime.”

  • 12:06 PM – Crowd claps.

  • 12:06 PM – Representative of Gun Violence Prevention Community speaks. Supporting ban on “high capacity magazines”. Representative speaks on Oregon Judge and Rhode Island Judge allowing the ban on magazines over 10 rounds.

  • 12:10 PM – Crowd claps.

  • 12:11 PM – Recess is called.

  • 12:33 PM – Recess ends. Third Panel begins.

  • 12:34 PM – Ed Sullivan, ISRA representative speaks. “Why do we teach about alcohol? Because we want kids to be safe. Why don’t we speak on gun safety?” He discusses straw purchases. “We passed a penalty enhancement on straw purchases in 2008” “How do you bridge the gap on city violence? I know we’re here for Highland Park, but over the weekend there were 27 shootings over the weekend in south and west side.” “What does this bill accomplish? Cook County public defender stated ‘Laws criminalizing possession for black and brown communities while not supporting their livelihood is a tragedy’”

  • 12:40 PM – Ed Sullivan ran out of time

[Editor notes:  It’s Todd Vandermyde.  Not sure where the author got VanderHeiden, but just to clear up any confusion…]

  • 12:40 PM – Todd VanderHeiden speaks on Heller and the results of the ruling. Also speaks on Chicago v McDonald. “Heller protected the use of common firearms at the time” It should be noted that Chairman Slaughter was not paying attention and discussing with a representative nearby.

  • 12:42 PM – Brings up Bruen, and requirement that it must be longstanding tradition of the law. That the government is in burden to provide said laws exist. That common use, ownership, and possession is a right. “The second amendment does not permit nor require firearms restrictions” Brings up that Heller gave lower courts scrutiny, and that Bruen stopped that.

  • 12:46 PM – Brings up the judge ruled that Highland Park ban on AWB was fine because it gave a perception of safety. This was pre-Heller.

  • 12:48 PM- VanderHeiden states, “We’re not here to negotiate. If this passes, we will see you in court.” “The question that should be asked is “How will you enforce this? There are 20 lawsuits in the US on this issue” “There are 15% of compliance on registration in states like New York.” “You will have civil disobedience on this. No one is going to turn them in” Stating that making people felons will not solve the issue and have police not enforce the laws.

  • 12:52 PM – Crowd claps. We were not silenced.

  • 12:53 PM- NRA representative speaks. Speaks on the language and terms such as “high capacity” magazine and assault weapons. Stating they are commonly owned. Stating that millions of AR-15 exist in the US, and likely more. Criminals can easily obtain magazines, and will not follow law. DoJ concluded that the ban did not stop crime. Inconclusive at best. States 18-20 bans on possession is a violation. That that age group can vote, serve, do jury duty, and do taxes.

  • 12:57PM – Chairman Slaughter says “As we listen to the first panel (referencing the Highland Park shooting victims), what we don’t want to hear about is the right on the second amendment. But what are some of the possible solutions on crimes and shootings?” “What are overall solutions in regards to the solution side on the public health crisis”

  • 12:59PM – Todd speaks stating that violence prevention starts at home.

  • 1:02 PM – Ed Sullivan speaks that systemic racism and economic disparity are paramount to fighting crime overall. That ISRA helped support a bill to mental health support on children, and that Moms Demand Action took funding away.

  • 1:03PM- “I am not seeing the support on communities, henceforth me asking the questions” stated Chairman Slaughter in regards to support for community bills.

  • 1:04 PM – “How many firearms would this affect? A representative asked virtually.”

  • 1:05 PM – “At least an estimate of 6-10 million magazines would be considered high capacity and be impacted.” Ed Sullivan stated.

  • 1:06 PM – Rep: “What has been the progress of 2A cases after Bruen?” Tom replied, “Supreme Court has told to vacate a few cases. That Hawaii dropped their cases on gun restrictions. That Oregon judge did not follow Bruen. However a state federal judge stopped the magazine ban. “In 2016 a case involving Massachusetts had US Supreme Court rule that Stun guns are arms that are protected. That they are in common use.”

  • 1:08 PM – Representative Ford speaks. Saying “When IRSA asks for you to shift, you shift, correct?”

  • 1:09 PM: Ed Sullivan states “Each time there were compromises, it was ignored by the state. We are overrun. With FOID modernization act, you now require people to register arms when its private sales. The key piece that was negotiated with IRSA and politicians was removed. Same with the 72 hour pause.” It should b noted Chairman Slaughter is on his phone texting while Ed Sullivan speaks.

  • 1:10 PM – “Each time we negotiated, we are overrun. We cannot keep it this way.” “We’re willing to help give people second chances in life when they make mistake and want to integrate in society” says Sullivan.

  • 1:12 PM – Representative Ford states he got an email from Mayor of Buffalo Grove, who is said to be an MDA speaker and Jewish. (Hey, Ford said it, I am just typing it.) Mayor said “studies show bans help”. Ed Sullivan says that “DoJ had a report saying that is not the case. For each report and study you have to support the ban, I have one that opposes it.”

  • 1:15PM – “70% of Americans support AWB. That include legal gun owners. I think it’s music to my ears when I hear you [Ed Sullivan] speak about racism being bad.” “Do I have your support to advocate for more funding and research to support West and South side?”

  • 1:17 PM – Ed Sullivan states “CPD paid half a billion in police misconduct. That a person on Streeterville vs Englewood has a life expectancy difference of 30 years.”

  • 1:20 PM – Representative Strongback asks a question on gun safety training. “Is my understanding correct that firearm safety be important” Yes, said Sullivan. Strongback is asked “Should it be mandatory for training to apply for FOID?” No. Said Sullivan. It should be noted people are heckling on the question.

  • 1:23 PM – Strongback asks NRA representative questions. The NRA is a Certified FUDD. Strongback got an easy win to call out NRA and no one brought up the Heller definitions on militia, and also US Code 10 defining militia.

  • 1:28 PM NRA Fudd loses. Standing ovation against him. Cheers. F in chat boys.

  • 1:31 PM – Representative speaks “Is there any type of firearms that a private citizen should not be allowed to own?” Todd Vanderhoff states “Nuclear arms are not in common use and should not be considered arms”

  • 1:35PM – Representative asked “How do we prevent our law enforcement community from being outgunned?” Ed Sullivan asks “Why do we have to ignore the common citizen.”

  • 1:37PM – Representative states she owns guns and understands 2A. “My biggest concern is where do we draw the line on where the average citizen can possess with firepower.” “The average citizen, even the hunter doesn’t need a high capacity magazine.”

  • 1:40 PM – Third Panel closes. Recess.

  • 2:07 PM – Fourth panel begins.

  • 2:07 PM – Spokseman on NSSF speaks. Opposing the bill.


  • 2:14 PM – Speaker on guns rights brings up Bruen test and how each section of the bill fails the test.

  • 2:22 PM – Illinois Hunting Community spokesman speak on the bill. Saying if affects the hunting community.

  • 2:30PM – Representative Strongback has a question to NSSF. Asking about mission statement and if NSSF mentions FRO to users, and will help distribute FRO details to IL owners. NSSF rep does not have details on having the ability to. “Is there any information to provide if gun sales increased and decreased?” NSSF Rep states: “FBI has those details. That sales are up.” Strongback asks “Can you speak to gun ownership and impacts on society?” NSSF Rep says that is not related to HB5855.

  • 2:35PM – “NSSF should compensate victims for the products they use.”

  • 2:35PM – Fourth panel concludes.

  • 2:35PM – Fifth panel starts. All remote.

  • 2:40PM – Newtown Alliance representative speaks. Speaks on being a mother for Sandy Hook school in Newtown Connecticut. Stating the ban must take place to save lives.

  • 2:44PM – A Parkland shooting survivor speaks on the event. Saying she survived by hiding on top of a body of a killed student. Stating to support raising the age to 21, and banning weapons.

  • 2:48PM – A doctor (Dienna Barrons) speaks on supporting the bill. Speaking on behalf of an Illinois Pediatric Board. Bringing up that people under 21 have committed shootings. The pandemic lockdown has increased suicide attempts and mental health diagnosis. Firearms have accounted for half of completed suicide attempts. Rates of homicides and suicides have increased 14% and 39% respectively in the last decade.

  • 2:53PM – “Victims of gun violence or the association of being at risk has lead to children having PTSD.”

  • 2:55PM – Spokeswoman for Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence speaks. Supporting the bill.

  • 2:59PM – McCombie speaks. States that the Highland Park shooter did not legally obtain the firearm used.

  • 3:00 PM – Chairman Slaughter says that this is the last committee meting on the bill for the year. Unsure if this will mean more meetings.

  • 3:00 PM – Meeting has concluded.

2 thoughts on “‘WE DON’T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT IS THE RIGHT ON THE SECOND AMENDMENT’: HB-5855 Hearing summary… and more”
  1. “It is unconscionable that we as a state give 18 and 19 year old’s the ability to purchase weapons of war. We know children do not have brains developed at that age.”
    How much you want to bet this same person has no problem allowing young kids to pretend to be the opposite sex, and have their bodies mutilated in that regard. Would he/she also be in support of banning voting by people of this age, since they don’t have brains developed?

    1. G G,
      You bring up my thoughts as well; If restricting one Right by age to 21 then ALL Rights should be restricted to age 21 especially free speech, “brain is not developed enough”, voting, Right to assemble, freedom of religion, Right to express grievance to government, etc., etc.
      As one who was able to vote at 18 in 1972 because law to lower voting age from 21 in 1970 or ’71, I was unsure of my knowledge of politics and not necessarily ignorant but not fully informed with the wisdom of age and work experience. I voted democrat like a dumb kid, at the time, but I think my father was registered a democrat but not the democrat of now, more like the JFK democrat for myself and Dad was WW2 vet. The times they have changed.

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