An Illinois state senator told a constituent who was worried that a state bill would threaten his ownership of firearms that perhaps the state should skip fining him and simply confiscate his guns. State Senator Julie A. Morrison, who was a co-sponsor of Senate Bill 107, which was sponsored by five Democratic senators, spoke with the gun owner at a public meeting.
The gun owner stated, “Senator Morrison, you have a Senate Bill 107 to take away some of my semi-automatic firearms.”
Morrison then interjected that the purpose was not to take them, but to prevent any future sales.
The gun owner responded by pointing out that the ban on future sales included a fine for current owners who did not hand their guns over. He said, “You want me to turn them over to the state police unless I pay a fine for each firearm and register them, then I get to keep them.”
Morrison concurred, saying, “Okay.”
The gun owner then asked, “If I get to keep it–if I pay a fine and register it–then, how dangerous is it in the first place and why do you need to ban it all?”
Morrison replied, “To clarify, I’m not really taking your gun away from you; you just can’t buy any new ones.”
The gun owner responded, “You want me to turn them over to the state police unless I pay a fine for each firearm and register them, then I get to keep them. So, if I get to keep it — if I pay a fine and register it — then, how dangerous is it in the first place and why do you need to ban it all? Why do you need to try to ban my semi-automatic firearm?”
Morrison replied, “Well, you just maybe changed my mind. Maybe we won’t have a fine at all, maybe it’ll just be a confiscation and we won’t have to worry about paying the fine.”
Illinois Senate Bill 107 states:
Makes it unlawful for any person to knowingly possess an assault weapon 300 days after the effective date of the amendatory Act, except possession of weapons registered with the Department of State Police in the time provided. Provides exemptions and penalties. Effective immediately.
The bill adds, “Assault weapon means” a semiautomatic rifle that has the capacity to accept a large capacity magazine detachable or otherwise …”
The NRA noted that some of the firearms that could be banned if the bill passes include:
Any semi-automatic rifle or handgun that can accept a detachable magazine greater than ten rounds in capacity and has one or more features, such as a protruding grip for the support hand; a folding, telescoping, or thumbhole stock; a handguard; or a muzzle brake or compensator. Any semi-automatic shotgun that has one or more feature such as the ability to accept a detachable magazine; a folding, telescoping, or thumbhole stock; or a protruding grip for the support hand. Any fixed magazine semi-automatic rifles or handguns greater than ten rounds in capacity and fixed magazine semi-automatic shotguns greater than five rounds in capacity. Any shotgun with a revolving cylinder.
In March, as WFIE reported, at a public meeting discussing the bill, White County District Attorney Denton Aud triggered a standing ovation when he stated, “With the limited resources we have in seeking justice, we will not arrest or prosecute any one who is otherwise law-abiding for merely possessing those firearms.” White County Sheriff Doug Meier echoed that he and the Illinois Sheriff’s Association didn’t back the bill. WFIE noted of the bill, “If it passes, registration would cost $25 per person. Failing to register a weapon could then land you with a Class 3 felony, which carries a prison sentence of up to five years and a $25,000 fine.”
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