(The Center Square) – Contentious debate is expected during Illinois legislative hearings over a proposed gun and magazine ban.
House Bill 5855 from state Rep. Bob Morgan, D-Deerfield, would redefine dozens of different types of rifles, pistols and shotguns as “assault weapons.” If approved, anyone who owns them would have 300 days to register them with state police. All future sales would be prohibited.
The measure also would prohibit possession of magazines with over 10 rounds. Morgan reacted to some who worry that would turn many Illiniosans into felons overnight.
“The effort in the legislation, the intent is really to stop the future sales, but of course I recognize, and the working group recognizes, all of these devices and these weapons, they exist in Illinois today,” Morgan said. “So it is really thinking about it in a prospective way instead of penalizing those who purchased them legally in Illinois.”
The measure would also prohibit anyone under 21 from getting a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card.
John Boch, executive director of the group Guns Save Life, said he’ll file a lawsuit if it’s ever enacted.
“My two boys … would have their FOID cards revoked, even though they’ve done nothing wrong and neither have I,” Boch said.
There would be carve outs for people under 21 who are enlisted in the armed services or for those who are with an adult hunting, Morgan said.
“I think this is an appropriate suggestion to raise the age to 21,” he said. “In terms of the courts, if we listened to every fear mongering threat from the [National Rifle Association] about what’s constitutional, we would have legalized fully automatic weapons and hand grenades.”
The measure will be heard in a House committee at 11 a.m. Monday. The public can follow along at the House Video/Audio page at ILGA.gov. Another hearing is scheduled for noon Thursday.
Lawmakers return for possible bill passage Jan. 4. Morgan aims to get the measure approved by Jan. 10.