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State Senator pushes back as gun control measures gain traction in Springfield

Illinois Watchdog.Org

Monday, February 4, 2019  |  Article  |  By Greg Bishop

Guns and Gun Control, FOID, Concealed Carry (46) Harmon, Don--State Senate, 39 , McCombie, Tony M.--State House, 71 , Righter, Dale--State Senate, 55
One bill would tax ammunition, another would have police scour the social media accounts of people seeking to legally buy guns, a third would ban some common firearms, even from law-abiding gun owners.

One state lawmaker said that people’s rights are being threatened by the aggressive anti-gun agenda.

State Rep. Tony McCombie, R-Savanna, has been ringing the alarm bell on social media, highlighting bills she says go too far. She said she’s taking a stand against another proposal that would register privately held guns with the government.

“It is a serious issue that we are going to have to fight and that probably will be passed and you’re going to find law-abiding citizens in Illinois all of a sudden overnight become criminals,” McCombie said.

One measure, Senate Bill 107, would prohibit a range of rifles, pistols and shotguns and require every such weapon in the state to be registered with the Illinois State Police. Owners would pay a $25 fee for registration. A person found in possession of one of the prohibited weapons without registration could face a Class 3 felony, which carries a prison sentence of up to five years and a $25,000 fine.

House Bill 1586 would require every piece of ammunition in the state to have a serial number that would be tracked by state police and taxed.

House Bill 888 would require Illinois State Police to review a potential gun buyers' social media accounts “to determine if there is any information that would disqualify the person from obtaining or require revocation of a currently valid Firearm Owner's Identification Card.”

State Sen. Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, whose gun dealer certification bill in the previous general assembly was held over and sent new Gov. J.B. Pritzker for his signature, said some of the more aggressive proposals may not advance.

“There are an awful lot of bills filed by Second Amendment advocates that aren’t going to move either,” Harmon said. “So everyone should just calm down.”

Harmon said lawmakers and other groups should work together on “common sense laws” that don’t infringe on Second Amendment rights.

State Sen. Dale Righter, R-Mattoon, said the stack of gun control bills filed by Democrats in a Democrat-dominated legislature with a Democratic governor is the most aggressive yet, and out of touch with the bill of rights.

“There are people elected here in the legislature who think that the Second Amendment apparently is not worth the paper it’s written on in their view in the way that they file these bills, and who would never ever suggest that we treat any of our other civil liberties in this manner,” Righter said. “The fact that they think this is the answer to the problem [of violence] is disconcerting in and of itself.”

Righter said the only way to curb violence in some parts of the state is to address the breakdown of the family structure and other societal problems.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker has said he’s open to more gun control measures, such as banning certain types of weapons and gun equipment.

“We all want to curb crime,” McCombie said. “But is this the right way? Do we have laws already on the books that we could be following and enforcing? Yes, we do. So let’s look at those.”

The Illinois State Rifle Association has already said it will challenge any new gun control measures that infringe on the Second Amendment in the courts.