On May 14th, 2018 Governor Rauner applied his “Amendatory Veto” Powers to HB1468, which would have created a dangerous legal definition of “assault weapon” and changed the waiting period for said “assault weapons” to 72 hours on a purchase or transfer. Rauner’s amendatory veto made several changes to the original bill; and then the Internet went crazy.
After Rauner vetoed HB1468, pro gun social media groups exploded with “Rauner is an idiot!”, “Rauner has gone nuts!”, “Rauner is a Democrat.” and so forth. What observers have to understand is we are witnessing election year politics. Also, the original bill was “veto proof” meaning it had already received the super majority of votes necessary to over ride the Governor’s total veto. Rauner had to do something drastic to kill the bill, a total veto would not have worked. So enter the poison pill.
If one were to read the text of Rauner’s amendatory veto, it IS an infringement on gun rights. However several other hot topics were added into the bill such as reinstating the death penalty. A hot topic some of the legislature will not want to touch. Rauner’s veto removed the dangerous “assault weapon” definition. It also increased the waiting period on all sales and transfers to 72 hours (the current waiting period for handguns) –this is the part that made gun owners nuts. However I believe this was done, again, because of election year politics. It would be hard for Rauner’s opponents to paint him as “being in the NRA pocket”, as anti freedom politicians love to do, when on the surface it appears he made the bill even more anti gun that it originally was.
But the reality is, by proposing a 72 hour waiting period for ALL gun sales and transfers, Rauner actually watered down HB1468, by removing the dangerous assault weapon language.
So, what are the possible outcomes, and what is the life expectancy to HB1468?
- The legislature can over-ride the governor’s amendatory veto and pass HB1468 in it’s original form.
- The legislature could approve the Governor’s veto as he amended it.
- As the language has changed, so too some of the legislature’s votes may change meaning an attempt to over ride may not pass. If enough votes change, and a failed attempt is made to over ride the veto, the bill is dead (for now).
- The legislature can simply ignore the veto and HB1468 will die in due time.
If the general assembly over-rides the Governor’s veto, this will actually back fire politically for them because on the surface the governor’s veto makes it appear like he is actually tougher on “gun laws” than the original bill. Remember this is election year politics.
If the legislature actually approves the Governor’s amendetory veto, it’s a small victory for gun owners because, the “Assault” weapon language will not be codified into law. Although there would then be a 72 hour waiting period for all firearm sales and transfers.
If the general assembly does nothing, HB1468 essentially dies (for now). No bill ever really dies and can be brought back under a new number at any time. This would be the best possible outcome for gun owners in Illinois.
There are other changes, unrelated to gun rights, that the Governor’s amendatory veto also includes such as death penalty and transparency in sentencing decisions by judges and prosecutors. Read the full text of the Governor’s amendatory veto of HB1468 here.
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