Subcommittee on Firearms discuss pending gun reforms

The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Firearms held their first hearing on March 8 to focus on legislative initiatives involving gun sales and possession.

The subject matter hearing reviewed and heard testimony on five House Bills currently under consideration by the General Assembly.

House Bill 1465 would ban the sale and delivery of assault weapons and high capacity magazines—devices capable of holding more than the standard rounds of ammunition—to anyone younger than 21 years of age, and would prohibit the possession of such weapons and devices for those younger than the age requirement. The legislation provides 90 days for anyone violating the age requirement for assault weapons and high capacity magazines to transfer ownership or dispose of the items.

House Bill 1467 would ban the sales, manufacturing, purchase and possession of “bump stocks,” a device attachment that allows a semiautomatic rifle to fire faster, and “trigger cranks,” a device that can pull a trigger more quickly than a human could. The bill would set the penalty for the possession of these items as the same level as possession of an actual machine gun.

House Bill 1468 would require a 72-hour waiting period for assault weapons following purchase, which includes certain semi-automatic rifles, semi-automatic shotguns, semi-automatic pistols, and .50 caliber rifles, as current Illinois law requires a 72-hour waiting period for handguns and a 24-hour waiting period for long guns. Additionally, it would ban the sale of these firearms to non-residents at gun shows.

House Bill 1469, in honor of fallen public servant Chicago Police Commander Paul Bauer, would ban large capacity ammunition feeding devices—which can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition—as well as body armor for civilians.

House Bill 1664 would require the Illinois State Police to provide a Dangerous Persons Hotline, a website and a toll-free number, for individuals to notify the Department if someone is a clear and present danger to himself or herself or another person and in possession of firearms.

Legislative session resumes for the Senate on March 13, where discussions and debate on gun reforms will likely continue.

Dale Fowler

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