As the clock ticks down on this session in the General Assembly (noon on Wednesday is the drop dead deadline, pun intended), gun control groups and politicians are bickering amongst themselves. Some, in fact, are threatening to withhold support of gun and magazine bans because they don’t go far enough.
Yes, plenty of us are overheating our microwave ovens cooking popcorn watching this unfold. It’s quite the poop show… almost like a bunch of circus monkeys flinging pooh back and forth.
I’ll have extra butter for mine.
Senate Bill 2226, was amended in a “gut and replace” maneuver and became the vehicle for what was supposed to be an “acceptable” compromise bill. The only problem for those seeking to outlaw guns and magazines? They didn’t ask the original bill’s sponsor, a strongly pro-gun downstate Democrat (Doris Turner) if she would relinquish control of her bill. She declined to do so and she refused to call it for a vote. Unless Doris Turner relents, that bill is effectively stalled.
The original House Bill 5855 alienated enough in the Senate Democrats that leadership had concerns that some of the Illinois Black Caucus might balk at the onerous penalties of 3-7 years in prison for possession of two magazines over ten rounds. The bill didn’t even have a grace period for existing owners. It has gone nowhere.
And this weekend, Senate Democrats came out with a new “gut and replace” amendment to House Bill 5471. This latest incarnation does not require gun registration for existing owners of prohibited guns and allows grandfathering of existing magazines. Furthermore, magazine capacity limits became 5 rounds for semi-auto shotguns, 10 rounds for semi-auto rifles and 15 rounds for semi-auto pistols.
Those “compromises” don’t sit well with Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who has spent the last few days in Springfield lobbying for passage of the bill. In fact, Pritzker has spent almost as much time in Springfield in the past week than he spent there in all the days of 2022 put together.
The Speaker of the House Chris Welch didn’t like the changes either, suggesting he wouldn’t support the watered down gun and magazine ban.
As Speaker of the House I will stand firm in our values and principles as Democrats. I will fight for the needs of Illinoisans, & I will not accept a watered-down version of legislation that falls unacceptably short of the comprehensive solutions the people of this state deserve. pic.twitter.com/i4Lym8SAGn— Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch (@RepChrisWelch) January 8, 2023
Meanwhile the harpies over at Brady, Everytown and Giffords have banned together (pun intended) to promote the more radical bill.
Everytown, Giffords, Brady Call on Illinois Senate Lawmakers to Pass Strong and Enforceable Assault Weapons Prohibition, Part of Critical Protect Illinois Communities Act
Nevermind that the bill they want passed, SB2226, is tied up by the pro-gun original sponsor who won’t allow it to be called for a vote. And that HB5855 is about as dead as Elvis.
On Monday morning, Senate Democrats threw out a new “gut and replace” amendment to House Bill 5471. At first blush, the registry is not only included in this one, but requires not only the serial number (deemed a bridge too far by some of the Senate Democrats just a couple of days ago) but also make and model for gun owners wishing to register them so they could keep them. At least until the gun control contingent comes back next year with a bill to close the “existing owner” loophole.
So, it’s quite the poop show in the Land of Lincoln’s capital. Sunday night, after returning to Springfield, the Senate didn’t call it for a vote.
Regardless of which bill passes, our legal team will be there waiting for them with open arms.
Enjoy your popcorn, folks.