* The Senate Democratic leadership did not have a good week…
On guns, the Senate Wednesday advanced out of committee two bills that would ban an array of automatic and semi-automatic weapons plus the ammunition they need to operate.
But the measures withered under a furious pushback from the National Rifle Association and other gun-rights advocates, who told the Sun-Times Thursday that neither measure had more than 27 or 28 votes in the Senate, shy of the 30 needed for passage.
Cullerton acknowledged the votes weren’t there for either gun bill but said “we learned about potential ways to enhance those bills. Those bills, of course, will be taken up in the next General Assembly.”
Sen. Dan Kotowski, D-Park Ridge, said the failure to call the gun bills also was because some supporters were absent.
“The reality is, in order to get it passed, we have to have people in their seats,” he said.
Gun rights supporters said the assault weapons ban, as written, would outlaw the sale of far more guns than military-style assault weapons. A second bill to ban the sale of large-capacity ammunition magazines would be unworkable, they said.
* But it’s not over. yet House staff has reportedly contacted the NRA to let them know that Gov. Pat Quinn and Mayor Emanuel will attempt to push a gun and magazine ban when the chamber reconvenes for the lame duck session this coming Sunday.
Senate President Cullerton has said he will call his chamber back on Tuesday if there’s anything to do. But attendance issues are going to be a problem then as well.
…Adding… IR has ISRA’s take on the Senate proposals…
- The Illinois State Police would be given full control over the design and operation of commercial gun ranges in the state. That control would extend from the design of the bullet backstops to qualifications of range employees and even to the color of the paint on the walls of the men’s room. The State Police would determine the hours of operation, what types and calibers of firearms could be discharged at the range, and even a minimum number of square feet. Every range customer would have to undergo a background check and each customer’s visit would be logged by the range operator. Any Illinois law enforcement agency could conduct unannounced and warrantless inspections and searches of ranges at any time. Those searches and inspections would extend to range customers and their property. That means that the Chicago Police Department would have the authority to raid a range in Peoria and roust the customers of that range. The bottom line is, this range regulation proposal has the sole objective of running commercial shooting ranges out of business. We had never seen anything like this before, but the intent was clear.
- All semi-automatic firearms would be either banned outright, or be so severely taxed and restricted that ownership would be impractical. We expected to see attempts to ban or regulate AR and AK type firearms, but what we saw in Cullerton’s proposal carried that to an extreme. Cullerton’s gun ban would extend to all semiautomatic rifles, pistols and shotguns. Additionally, many pump action rifles and shotguns would be banned as well. This ban would include such classics as the 1911 and the M1 Garand. Of course, all Glocks, Sig-Sauers, and other popular pistols would be banned as well. Estimates are that about 50% of rifles and 80% of handguns lawfully-owned by Illinois citizens would be subject to ban and confiscation under the Cullerton gun ban.
- A bizarre and convoluted scheme to register all “ammunition feeding devices” capable of holding more than 10 rounds – including magazines, stripper clips, drums, etc. Since none of these devices possess serial numbers, owners of these devices would essentially register them under the “honor system.” Of course, we all know how well criminals stick to the honor system.