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Illinois Gun Battle with SB 5855

2A on the frontline as new SAFE-T Act begins

An Illinois gun battle is on the line due to the push to eliminate “assault weapons” in SB 5855. The push comes as the new SAFE-T Act begins that places the citizens of that state in harm’s way. But removing their commonly used firearms is not the way to help them. Sheriffs across the state are struggling to figure out how to handle it all. Democrats are pushing SB 5855 to be passed before the session ends on January 10, 2023.

SB 5855

This Democrat-sponsored bill changes several aspects of Illinois law regarding firearms, but one of the most glaring is the ban on “assault weapons.”

Amends the Illinois State Police Law of the Civil Administrative Code of Illinois. Provides that the Division of Criminal Investigation of the Illinois State Police shall conduct other investigations as provided by law, including, but not limited to, investigations of human trafficking, illegal drug trafficking, and illegal firearms trafficking.

Provides that the Division of Criminal Investigation shall provide statewide coordination and strategy pertaining to firearm-related intelligence, firearms trafficking interdiction, and investigations. Amends the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act.

Eliminates provisions that permit a person under 21 years of age who is not an active duty member of the United States Armed Forces or the Illinois National Guard to obtain a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card with parental consent.

Amends the Wildlife Code. Provides that when a person under 21 years of age is hunting under the supervision of a adult, the adult must possess a Firearm Owners Identification Card. Amends the Firearms Restraining Order Act. Provides that the State’s Attorney of the county where the petition is filed may act as a friend of the court in any action filed under the Act. Provides that a petitioner may request a one-year (rather than 6-month) firearms restraining order. Amends the Criminal Code of 2012.

Makes it unlawful to manufacture, deliver, sell, or purchase or cause to be manufactured, delivered, sold, or purchased or cause to be possessed by another, an assault weapon, assault weapon attachment, .50 caliber rifle, or .50 caliber cartridge. Makes it unlawful for any person to knowingly possess an assault weapon, .50 caliber rifle, or .50 caliber cartridge 300 days after the effective date of the amendatory Act, except possession of weapons registered with the Illinois State Police in the time provided. Provides exemptions and penalties.

Prohibits the manufacture, delivery, sale, purchase, or possession of large capacity ammunition feeding devices. Defines terms. Provides exemptions and penalties. Makes other changes. Effective immediately.

In a nutshell, it removes any provision for a person under 21 to own or possess a firearm. It requires coordination for intelligence-sharing on firearms information across Illinois. It bans commonly used firearms and larger magazines. Democrats believe it will be Constitutional. (Delusional is more like it).

The SAFE-T Act went into effect at the turn of the year. It removed cash bail entirely, although the IL state Supreme Court recently blocked that provision as the State appeals the decision. It changed trespassing to a class B misdemeanor, which means police cannot arrest someone for being on your property, they can only issue a citation. Drug offenses are, for the most part, not detainable by police, and some counties in Illinois are struggling to figure out how to protect the citizens against offenders who use them. Sometimes arrest is the only way for an offender to get help…apparently the people who wrote that bill didn’t care.

“We’ve spent a lot of time trying to prepare for what’s coming. Trying to sift through a thousand pages to determine where our role is and what’s going to change and how we can best serve the citizens that we protect has been first and foremost for us…If someone’s trespassing on your property, we’re going to remove them from your property. Maybe we can’t arrest them, maybe we can’t place them in the county jail, but we’re not going to leave them there…It’s a snowball effect if the drug issue leads to these deaths and burglaries that we experience. They are a struggle for rural departments to keep up with…Simply booking someone and sending them out before they’re even sober, I don’t see a great benefit. I hope I’m wrong, but it’s concerning.” Franklin County Sheriff Kyle Bacon to Fox News

Into that mix came Democrats who desire to rid the state of “assault weapons.” Whether or not SB 5855 is wide or narrow is irrelevant: it doesn’t just remove a critical self-defense area, it is blatantly unconstitutional. If they pass it, gun groups will take it to court.

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Faye Higbee

Faye Higbee is the columnist manager for Uncle Sam's Misguided Children. She has been writing at Conservative Firing Line since 2013 as well. She is also a published author.

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