State Rep. Tony McCombie of Savanna, leader-elect for the Republican House caucus, said it is too easy for legacy gun owners to run afoul of the new law banning the purchase, sale and manufacture of high-powered semi-automatic weapons.
But McCombie also encouraged gun owners to stay calm and engaged, even if their legally purchased weapons are covered by the ban.
“This poorly written piece of legislation will be challenged in the courts and, like in other states, will likely be found unconstitutional,” McCombie said in a news release issued Tuesday after Gov. JB Pritzker signed House Bill 5471 into law.
Both McCombie and Rep. Tom Demmer of Dixon voted against the package of amendments for the bill’s final version in the closing day of the 102nd General Assembly.
Under the law, gun owners must register previously-owned weapons with the Illinois State Police by Jan. 1, 2024, to obtain a special endorsement on the Firearm Owners Identification.
It is this provision that could put legacy gun owners in jeopardy, she said.
Her news release said “law-abiding gun owners are being turned into felons if they don’t register their firearm with the state.”
McCombie echoed the complaint made during the Senate debate by Murmphysboro Republican Terri Bryant, who said commonly used shotguns are on the banned list.
“This new law includes a list of firearms banned with little and, often, no linkage to weapons used in homicidal mass-violence crimes which the advocates aim to address,” McCombie said.
She said the law does not address the root causes of violent gun crimes nor does it penalize crimes committed with a firearm.
McCombie also took issue with security of the registry itself, noting that it experienced a data breach in August 2021.
State Sen. Stewart, a Freeport Republican, did not vote in the lame duck session which closes out his term in office. He said he was opposed to the legislation because it erodes citizens’ Second Amendment rights to bear arms.
State Sen. Win Stoller, a Germantown Hills Republican, whose newly drawn said bill will do little to nothing to address gun-related crimes in the state.
“We should be working together to come up with solutions that hold criminals accountable for their actions,” Stoller said.
Source: The Daily Chronicle