December 07, 2022
Gun owners in Illinois have suddenly found themselves fighting for the remaining Second Amendment rights that haven’t already been infringed upon by the state’s notoriously anti-gun leaders.
HB 5855, currently under consideration in the Illinois General Assembly, is called by supporters the “Protect Illinois Communities Act.” What it really does is ban many guns and ammunition magazines in a way that could create instant felons with the signature of the governor.
“We have consistently heard from anti-Second Amendment legislators that they ‘don’t want to take away your guns, we only want common sense gun reforms,’” Richard A. Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association said in a call-to-action email to the group’s supporters. “Under HB5855 their first step is to take away your magazines and force law-abiding citizens to register their firearms.”
Pearson said the legislation, which has been filed with the full support of the state’s anti-gun Gov. J.B. Pritzker, would ban certain semi-automatic pistols, rifles and shotguns. In fact, the measure would ban manufacturing, delivering, selling or purchasing of “Assault Weapons,” and specifically identifies more than 100 types of pistols, rifles and shotguns that would be affected, based mainly on aesthetic characteristics of the firearms.
According to the legislation’s language, possession of those firearms would be banned effective 300 days after the governor signs the bill. Firearms owned prior to that could be kept by Illinois gun owners as long as they are registered with the government.
Unfortunately for Illinois’ lawful gun owners, the measure would also ban so-called “high-capacity” magazines that are used in many common firearms that are not banned by the legislation. The measure outlaws manufacturing, delivering, selling, purchasing and possession of any magazine that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammo.
To add insult to injury, the legislation has no grandfather clause for magazines. Consequently, a gun owners possessing one of these magazines when the law takes effect—stipulated in the language as the minute the governor signs the measure—would become immediate felons. Violation of the law would be considered a Class 3 felony, carrying a mandatory prison sentence of not less than two years and not more than five years
“The legislation goes beyond magazines used in semi-automatic rifles to also include magazines used in millions of commonly owned handguns,” Pearson said. “Their next step is to use that very registry to take away your firearms. The anti-gun crowd’s agenda has always been to incrementally peal back the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Illinois citizens. In addition to the semi-auto and magazine bans, HB 5855 goes even further. The measure would also ban bump stocks and other devices that “convert a semi-auto firearm to automatic.”
Additionally, it would make it so an Illinois resident must be 21 years of age before applying for the state’s Firearm Owners Identification Card (FOID)—required to purchase a gun in the state.
As for Pearson and the Illinois State Rifle Association, they won’t be negotiating on the grossly anti-gun, anti-freedom legislation.
“We will see the State of Illinois in court should this bill be enacted into law,” Pearson said.
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About the Author
Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for over 20 years.