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IL proposes ‘assault weapons’ ban, social media history review

A rack of various modern sporting rifles, mostly AR-15s, in Gallenson's Gun Shop, located in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. (Michael McConville/Wikimedia Commons)
January 29, 2019

Legislators in the state of Illinois are the latest to consider a proposed “assault weapons” ban.

Illinois’ Democratic lawmakers recently filed three separate gun control bills, including SB 107 in the Illinois state senate, which implements a ban on firearms designated “assault weapons,” Patch reported Friday.

The bill lays out several criteria for the “assault weapon” designation, including pistol grips, movable stocks, barrel shroud, and muzzle brake on rifles, handguns and shotguns.

The bill also applies the “assault weapon” designation to rifles and handguns with magazines holding more than 10 rounds, and shotguns holding more than five rounds.

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Specific rifle, handgun and shotgun models are also listed in the criteria, regardless of their attachments.

AK-47 and AR-15 are at the top of the model list, in addition to other popular rifles like Hi-Point Carbines, Kel-Tec Sub Rifle, SKS, Ruger Mini-14 and various others commonly used for sporting purposes.

The bill also declares that citizens in possession of prohibited firearms have 300 days to comply with the law.

Gun owners who lawfully owned such prohibited weapons ahead of the law would be required to submit a registration affidavit under oath, which includes the person’s name, date of birth, Firearm Owner’s Identification Card number, gun identification details (serial number, make, model, caliber) and proof of a deployed locking mechanism on the gun.

The bill was introduced by Democratic Sen. Julie Morrison, who represents Deerfield, a northern suburb of Chicago.

Last year, Morrison was a sponsor of the “Lethal Violence Order of Protection Act,” a red flag law signed by then-Gov. Bruce Rauner in July 2018, which went into effect on Jan. 1, 2019.

The law enables family members or police to pursue protection orders on individuals deemed dangerous, thus permitting the confiscation of guns from that person.

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Two additional bills proposed in the Illinois state House involve amendments to the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act.

The first would require gun license applicants to disclose all social media accounts for state police to investigate prior to awarding a license.

The second bill permits state police to “deny, revoke or seize” firearms licenses if a license holder or applicant has a stalking conviction on their record.

Considering Illinois’ recent gun control activities, the three proposed bills could feasibly become state law.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker recently signed Senate Bill 337 into law, which imposes additional licensing requirements for gun store owners in Illinois, according to local ABC affiliate WSIL.

The law requires gun stores to purchase a license with the Illinois State Police, conduct employee training on background checks, install video surveillance and alarm systems, and to keep 10 years of sales records.

Gun store owners expressed that the costly license and security equipment required by the law could be detrimental to stores and even put them out of business.