2018 was a very challenging year for gun owners and FFL Dealers in Illinois. After a series of mass shootings around the country, gun controllers felt a resurgence of momentum to try and further restrict 2A rights.
We had some successes. With the help of the Governor, we fended off nonsensical definitions of semi-autos (HB- 1468) bans on most gunsmithing for trigger and action jobs (HB-4117). We beat back a magazine ban and a ban on body armor (HB-1469), restrictions on junior shooters (HB-1465) and allowing municipalities to ban semi-autos again (HB-1467).
They had some successes as well. They did pass a “Red Flag” law allowing for family members and law enforcement to petition the police to have someone’s firearms seized if they believe them to be a danger to themselves or others. We also so an increase in the waiting period for long guns from 24 hours to 72 hours. This change will take place January 1st. Fortunately, while there was some talk of raising the age to purchase firearms to 21, no bill made it into law that did that.
There are still a few things in limbo. Of significance was the Dealer Licensing bill, HB-1657 & SB-337. HB-1657 was vetoed by the Governor. Several backstabbing republicans then entered into talk about watering down the bill but still left many problematic parts of the bill intact. These left the opened rule making by a state agency, the mandated security systems costing thousands of dollars just to name a couple.
SB-337 was passed by both chambers but then a parliamentary hold was put on the bill preventing it from going to the Governor. We have no definitive reason for that, but fully expect the bill to be reintroduced in the 2019 session. Unfortunately, we do not know In what form it will rear its ugly head.
All in all it was a never ending tough slog for the whole of the session with ups & downs.
The fall elections were tough on gun owners and we no longer have the backstop of the Governor’s office. We will have to see what the election of JB Pritzker means for gun owners, FFLs and the Second Amendment when he is sworn in mid January.
Now is the time to get to know your reps and senators, we suspect you will be asking your customers and staff to call them quite a bit next session.