Legislative sessions across the country are slowly coming to a close and with it come votes on gun rights issue. There will be important votes today in both Illinois and New Jersey.
The Illinois Senate will be voting on a number of bills that impact gun rights. Perhaps the most important one will be on their version of a concealed carry law. The bill is HB183 Gun Safety and Responsibility Act and is sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago). It is opposed by the NRA, ISRA, and Illinois Carry. The bill is much weaker than SB2193 that passed the State House last week and it preserves home-rule on firearms issues.
The other bills coming up include SB851 Safety Tech sponsored by Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago), SB1002 Criminal Law Tech sponsored by Sen. Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge), and SB1003 Criminal Law Tech sponsored by Sen. Antonio Munoz (D-Chicago). Raoul's SB851 includes both universal background checks and a lost or stolen reporting requirement. Kotowski's SB1002 is a magazine ban bill with an exception for movie and TV productions. Finally, Munoz's SB1003 increases penalties for firearms violations - even unintentional. All of these bills are opposed by Illinois Carry and ISRA.
The Illinois Senate is scheduled to go into session at 11am Central.
Meanwhile, the New Jersey Senate will be taking up a number of bills that either ban certain firearms or curtail Second Amendment rights. They go into session at 2pm Eastern.
From the Outdoor Wire on S. 2723 and S. 2178:
Senate Bill 2723 -- This omnibus bill sponsored by Senate President Stephen Sweeney includes many different gun control sections which will impact retailers and gun owners throughout the state. It suspends Second Amendment rights if one does not have proof of firearms training, including for all current handgun owners; imposes a seven-day waiting period for handgun purchases; bans all private sales of firearms; effectively creates a registry of ammunition purchases and long gun sales.Other bad bills include S. 2485 which bans anyone who is on the No-Fly list from having either a firearms ID card or a pistol purchase permit and S. 2467 which mandates divestiture in gun companies by the state pension system.
Senate Bill 2178 -- Sponsored by state Senators Raymond Lesniak (D-20) and Barbara Buono (D-18), this bill is a flat-out statewide gun ban on possession of .50 caliber firearms. The current version was amended to make this bill effective immediately upon enactment.
The New Jersey Second Amendment Society issued an alert yesterday on these and other bills. It can be found here and gives contact information.
If you are a resident of either state, I'd urge you to contact your state senators as well as senate leadership to register your opposition to these bills.
UPDATE: In what may come as no surprise, the New Jersey Senate passed all the gun control bills before it. Sebastian has the whole story here. One needs only to see this video to understand the disdain those in power in the Garden State hold both the 1st and 2nd Amendments. If the State Trooper's shirt had been either brown or black, you'd have sworn a time machine had transported you to the era of the Third Reich.
No word yet on any grand compromise from Illinois on concealed carry.