On July 16th Illinois Governor Rauner signed 2 bills which will have an effect on the gun rights of law abiding gun owners in Illinois. This article will explain how these bills affect your rights, when they go into affect and provide possible reasons as to why Rauner signed these bills.
One of the bills signed by Governor Rauner is HB2354, Lethal Violence Order of Protection. This bill was hailed as triumph by some gun groups because “it isn’t as bad as they wanted”. In other words sponsor Willis introduced a very bad bill, which was watered down a little bit to become a bad bill. But since the bill is no longer “very bad”, it’s a triumph? That level of “silver-lining” thinking is compared to a burglar stealing your jewelry and TV, but being happy they didn’t take your refrigerator too. Compromising your rights away isn’t a winning strategy.
The Lethal Violence Order of Protection Act is known as a “red flag” gun bill. Strong supporters of gun rights believe this bill takes away due process from gun owners, while gun control advocates say the bill will prevent people who shouldn’t have guns from having guns. What’s true is this law creates an additional mechanism that guns may be confiscated from law abiding gun owners and is ripe for abuse against gun owners, in the same way orders of protection are currently abused. Exactly how prevalent the abuse shall be, remains to be seen.
The Lethal Violence Order of Protection Act takes effect January 1st 2019.
The other bill signed by Governor Rauner is SB3256, 72 Hour Waiting Period. This bill creates a 72 hour waiting period for purchases of long guns in Illinois. Previously the waiting period on long guns was 24 hours and the waiting period on hand guns is 72 hours. Now the 72 hour waiting period applies to both long guns as well as hand guns. (Please also see “How to sell a gun in Illinois” which explains more details on the process to buy or sell a gun in Illinois. Now updated to reflect these changes.)
The 72 Hour Waiting Period takes effect January 1st, 2019.
The full texts of the two bills can be found here:
Illinois Firearm Owner Restraining Act, Public Act 100-0607 http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=100-0607
Illinois 72 Hour Gun Purchase Waiting Period, Public Act 100-0606 http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=100-0606
Many are wondering why governor Rauner would sign these two anti-gun bills. There are several factors. First, this is an election year and we are witnessing election year politics in play. The anti-gun politicians (from both sides of the aisle) went giddy with proposed bills after the tragic mass-murder events of Las Vegas and Florida, employing the “never let a good tragedy go to waste” mentality made famous by Chicago Mayor Rham Emanuel. At the same time, the goal of the democratic leadership appears to be to paint Republican incumbent Rauner into a corner so that his stance on guns may be used against him at election time. This is a typical strategy used many times to win elections, because gun rights is such a divisive issue.
The election strategy works like this, and it’s a win-win for Rauner’s opponent: If Rauner veto’s the anti gun bills, he is “in the pocket of the evil NRA”, or so the claims will be made. If Rauner approves the anti gun bills, he will lose support from the various gun rights groups. Therefore Governor Rauner needs to appear as a moderate on the issue. Sign some anti-gun bills, and veto others; in other words playing both sides of the fence.
But why these two bills in particular? Both were approved in the legislation by “super majority” making them veto proof (See The Two Black Wednesdays – Voting Record). In other words, even if Rauner were to veto or provide an amendatory veto as he did with the original Gun Dealer Licensing bill, his veto could be over turned by the legislature through another vote. It really was a foregone conclusion that these bills would have become law with or without input from the Governor. So there you have your sacrificial lambs.
While gun rights advocates would prefer a governor who is a strong supporter of gun rights, this is Illinois after all; and the election year strategy makes sense to someone seeking re-election in a state such as Illinois.
Rauner also took action, or actually stated he would, on a 3rd gun bill. As you may recall Gun Dealer Licensing received an amendatory veto on May 14th 2018 (Gov. Rauner Amends HB1468 and the Internet Goes Crazy). The legislature chose, instead of trying to over ride the original Gun Dealer Licensing bill, to reintroduce the bill with a new name and bill number. Rauner has indicated he would not sign the new Gun Dealer Licensing Bill when it arrives on his desk (again).
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